Since 1980, hurricanes have caused over $1.1 trillion of total property damage. Now, while a huge portion of this is covered by insurance money, the truth is that reconstructing your home after it’s been leveled by a hurricane is something that’s best avoided. Sadly, there’s no way to avoid a hurricane but what you can do is invest in making your home hurricane-resistant. Here are a couple of things you can do about it.
The first thing you need to ensure is the impact-resistance of individual elements of your home. The problem is that upgrades won’t necessarily give you the optimal effect and that you’ll have to start from scratch. Still, there are a few modifications that you can install, which will drastically reduce the impact of a hurricane.
Redoing your roof
The first thing you need to do is redo your roof. Chances are that if you’ve ever seen the effects of a hurricane on a residential home, the first thing you’ve noticed were flying shingles. Is there a way to avoid this? There are several things you can do.
You can start by considering the shape of your roof. An aerodynamic roof can avoid taking the full brunt of high wind and minimize the impact of the hurricane. A multi-panel roof will help reduce the wind load. The slope of the roof is also an important factor. According to experts from Summit Construction Group, a 4-slope roof is generally more wind-resistant than a 2-slope roof.
Now, you also want to be looking for the wind rating of different shingles. The highest level of impact protection will have to meet UL2218 Class 4. The most interesting thing about these shingles is that they’re lighter than regular (asphalt) shingles, which is probably the opposite of what you expected. This is also quite handy in the situation where they do get detached from the roof, seeing as how they’re bound to cause less damage.
When it comes to the walls, there a lot of it comes down to materials. Concrete, for instance, can withstand pressure and stress. It doesn’t contract or expand during extreme weather, which is mostly because it’s dimensionally stable. Steel-reinforced concrete adds an extra dose of sturdiness but also the flexibility that makes it a perfect material for withstanding a hurricane.
A steel frame construction also makes a world of difference. Steel is not rigid like iron, which means that it’s far less brittle. Now, the biggest problem with this type of construction is that it’s not that common in residential buildings.
Wood construction with hurricane strapping is also quite durable. In fact, in Japan, buildings are constructed from wood for their elasticity. Seeing as how this island is constantly exposed to earthquakes and tsunamis, the flexibility and impact resistance of buildings is crucial.
Other than these, unit masonry and cement blocks are also popular choices. Just keep in mind that it’s important to couple them with reinforcing bars. This way, you’ll make up for their biggest shortcoming and make them extra hurricane-resistant.
Hurricane Shutters on Windows
While hurricane shutters are not an inexpensive addition to your home, they are an upgrade that won’t require a complete remodeling of your home. The material itself costs $5 to $60 per square foot and the labor is somewhere between $45 and $100 per hour. In other words, it all comes down to how many windows you have and how much you’re willing to invest in these hurricane shutters.
Regardless of the cost, the majority of homeowners find that hurricane shutters are worth it. Don’t just look at the investment cost, instead, focus a bit on the cost of a potential repair. From this angle, the ROI is simply incredible. So, before you start planning a new addition to your home gym, consider if this wouldn’t be money better spent.
There are also several different types of hurricane shutters. The most common are roll-down shutters, seeing as how they’re compact and retractable. This means that when they’re not in place, it will be hard to tell if you have them installed at all. Keep in mind that they also offer additional insulation (in times of need) and may make your home even more secure (from burglary).
In the end, it’s also important to remember that hurricanes usually don’t come without flooding. So, while protecting your home from a hurricane, you might want to consider investing a bit in flood protection, as well. Building a flood defense, however, is far from a simple task.
Sure, if you expect to flood, you can stock up on sandbags but what you want is to find a way to install some permanent methods of handling these issues. This is especially if you’re living in an area that’s known for flooding and hurricanes.
The most important thing is that you keep your drainage system operational. You need to regularly clean it of leaves and debris. Ironically, investing in a leaf blower is one of the best ways for you to keep your property flood-resistant.
You also want to fill any gaps in your foundation. If there’s a crack through which the water can enter your basement, chances are that this will soon turn into a much greater problem. However, to keep your basement safe, you might want to make several other installations. A battery-powered sump pump is one of the best ways to make a difference. A water sensor and a flood detection system are other fields upon which you can improve.
Also, if you have the option, it might be a good idea to elevate your power sources and switches a bit. It doesn’t hurt to make this extra effort while ignoring this advice just might.
In the end, it doesn’t hurt to be ready. Let’s face it, some areas are more impacted by hurricanes and some homes are in the zones that are more prone to flooding. Well, if you take all the steps of precaution, you can make your home far more resistant. This can save you a lot of money and save you from a world of stress in the future.