5 Ways to Increase Security for Your Home During a Hurricane

Small Projects and Repairs
Windows
Doors
Garage Doors
By Alex Mikayelyan September 16, 2021

Hurricane season is a really scary time to be living on the coast. It’s the combination of water and strong winds that makes hurricanes very dangerous. You’ve likely seen your fair share of photos and videos of houses destroyed by hurricanes on the news. But it doesn’t have to be all calamity. If you live in a hurricane zone, or plan to build a home in one, you don’t have to accept costly damage repair as part of your fate. One of humanity’s greatest strengths is the ability to adapt and we have developed great hurricane-resistant home design techniques to help homeowners minimize storm damage.

Now do keep in mind that these tips are not guaranteed to stop all incoming damage from a hurricane. Regardless of how foundationally sound your home may be, a hurricane is going to be a powerful mess and flying objects coming at your house are out of your control. Although it is difficult to hurricane-proof your home entirely, there are ways to limit the damage and keep as much of your house protected as possible. Consider them to protect your investment and especially if you’ve caught wind of storm seasons up ahead.

Impact Resistant Glass and Window Shutters

Protecting the Weakest Parts of Your Home’s Exterior

Protecting the Weakest Parts of Your Home’s Exterior

Windows are among the most vulnerable spots on the exterior of the house. This is why hurricane-proof house design puts a lot of emphasis on protecting the windows.  Your hurricane-proof house blueprints should definitely include some sort of window protection, of which there are several kinds.

Impact-proof windows, for example, can take a lot of damage and won’t break. While they may not be completely indestructible, they are definitely a more durable option when compared to standard single or double-paned windows. Another great feature you should include in your hurricane-proof house plans is metallic shutters. Any time a major storm is around the corner, simply lower them to protect your windows from debris and other dangers. 

Roof Fastening

Ways to Make the Roof More Structurally Sound

Ways to Make the Roof More Structurally Sound

During a storm the roof is always in danger of being ripped off and blown away. While hurricane straps can definitely help you out in this regard, a great way to further ensure that your roof stays on top of your house is with roof fastening devices. These include hold-downs, embedded connects, such as the aforementioned hurricane straps, and lateral anchors. These are made of various metals such as steel, aluminum, copper, or zinc, designed to withstand the force of the strongest winds the storm throws your way.

The hold-downs, for example, can be tied around the roof frame and the wooden beams of your house and offer an extra bit of structural support. The same goes for lateral anchors, which are sometimes placed on the outside to keep any loose shingles from flying off. This is all done in service of the roof, which is worth bracing as it may put its surroundings in danger if there are any loose bits and pieces flying around. 

In all fairness, if the wind is too strong, then these straps may not be able to handle the load. However, even winds traveling at relatively slower speeds can tear out some parts from the roof frame, causing thousands of dollars in damage and potentially putting people at risk. By strapping them down and strengthening the frames you make the roof much stronger and the chances of it being blown away much lower. 

Garage Door Weights

Why It’s Important to Strengthen the Garage

Why It’s Important to Strengthen the Garage

Although it may not seem like it, the garage is also one of the most vulnerable places in your house. While the first floor of the house is normally at least slightly above the ground, the garage is usually leveled with it. So, this means that garages are quite vulnerable during floods and can get filled with water quite easily. Garages also don’t tend to be as structurally sound as the house itself, making them very susceptible to strong winds.

The biggest point of entry and the most vulnerable spot in your garage is the door itself. Garage doors are heavy but not as strong as the walls, and this weight might not measure up to the strength of a hurricane. However, there are special removable panels you can put on your garage door to make it heavier. These are usually made of galvanized steel or aluminum, are capable of holding the door in place, and once the store is gone and you don’t need them anymore, they’re removable. 

Fiberglass Hurricane-Proof Doors

Why You Should Consider Fiberglass Doors

Why You Should Consider Fiberglass Doors

While windows can have special impact-resistant glass that can withstand a lot of punishment, what about the doors? Wooden doors are more durable than glass, but hurricanes can get pretty violent and you never know if the next storm might break your door right off its hinges and send it flying. So, it’s also a good idea to reinforce your doors as well. 

As debris starts flying through the air at break-neck speeds, they’re bound to crash into your door as well. If this doesn’t break your door, it will definitely leave it looking like it’s just been through a hurricane. Replacing wooden doors is also somewhat of a hassle as not only are they quite pricey, but the frame may also be damaged (requiring you to replace the entire front door casing as well). 

That’s a lot of expense that can be avoided if you install hurricane-proof doors in advance. These are typically made from fiberglass, which is very durable and quite impact resistant. Fiberglass is generally very hard to scratch too, even if you put effort into it. If the hurricane still manages to cause visible damage, they are quite easy to fix. Fiberglass is also incapable of warping or peeling, which is something that most wooden doors suffer from. 

Storm Kit

How Storm Kits Can Help You Prevent Further Damage to Your Home

How Storm Kits Can Help You Prevent Further Damage to Your Home

When disaster strikes, you need to take action and in the case of hurricanes that is to ensure that everyone is safe and sound. One of the most rudimentary grounds to cover is having a storm kit at hand. While this may not do much for the rest of the house, it will help to protect your family. A storm kit can include things like towels to dry up pooling water, tools for quick fixes, sanitary and food supplies, and back-up power generators if you’re stuck at home for a few days before it’s safe to go out again.

A safe room can be a place to house all the important tools and equipment needed to fix the smaller damage the storm will bring in real time. For example, if there’s a leaky pipe that was dislodged during a flood, it’s useful to have a wrench and other tools on hand to fix it on the spot. The garage may not always be a safe place to go during a hurricane so having these emergency supplies in your safe room would be a good idea. If the room is secure and has minimal risk of flooding, you should keep your extra tools there for emergencies. So, while this is not a direct form of avoiding damage, it can certainly help you protect your home when trouble strikes.

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan