If your home was damaged by a storm, the tremendous work, expense and stress can mean a daunting and difficult ordeal ahead.But it's possible to create a silver lining from the disaster. If you restore for more than before, you can return to a better home -- a stronger, more resilient, comfortable, and healthy home to enjoy with peace of mind.This is one of a series of articles about ways to do that.
Take control of your future by making your home more resilient for the next hurricane with these wind-hardy home restoration improvements.Today, many wind-resistant products are widely available.
Some insurance companies offer discounts for specific wind-resistant features, rated products or certifications, such as the Fortified Roof, Silver or Gold Home program, so be sure to look into that. It’s a great investment to upgrade when replacing damaged materials, even if your insurance won’t cover the incremental cost or offer a premium discount.
Roof: When reroofing, remove all of the existing roof covering and specify a wind-tested and rated roof system. It must be installed according to the manufacturer’s high-wind instructions to perform as rated and be covered by the wind warranty. For more detailed information to share with your roofing contractor, get the Fortified Roof checklist.
Structure: If walls are open or siding is removed, add metal hurricane hardware to strengthen connections of wall framing to the foundation, to the roof rafters or trusses, and between levels to resist uplift forces. Consider adding corner hold-downs and reinforcements of narrow wall sections to resist racking forces. Also strengthen accessory structures (screen porches, tool sheds, etc.) that could become flying debris. Remove trees and limbs near the house that pose a risk of breaking or uprooting.
Windows, Doors and Garage Doors: High winds and flying debris can break glass and push in or pull out a standard garage door or entry door, allowing wind pressure to build-up inside, push on the roof and surrounding walls, and cause major structural damage to a home. If in a high wind zone and replacing any windows, doors or garage door, invest in high wind and impact-rated units. If not replacing them, consider adding wind-borne debris protections that are easy-to-use, such as impact-rated operable shutters, screens, or lightweight removable panels.
Weather Barriers: When replacing windows, doors, siding or any wall penetration, upgrade the weather-resistive barrier (house wrap or other type) and flashing system. Make sure it is layered shingle-fashion with no gaps or tears. Use high performance caulks and sealants to reduce wind-driven water leaks. Find detailed guidance on installing weather barriers and flashing openings on the Building America Solution Center website.