Taking Storm-Proofing Into Your Own Hands

The 7 Ways to Safety

Insurance companies encourage you to prepare for hurricane season by taking time to inspect your home or business. This will not only help you protect your most valuable assets, it will also reduce the costs associated with a storm. Here are the seven most important features that should be examined to ensure your home is wind-resistant. Talk with a licensed contractor to assess your needs.

  1. Roof-Deck Attachment: Roof-decking is the first layer of roofing. It should be a minimum of 5/8 inch plywood, attached to roof trusses with 8 penny ring shank nails spaced a maximum of 6 inches apart.
  2. Secondary Water Barrier: If the roof-covering is lost in a windstorm, the secondary water barrier will be the only protection from water intrusion. Urethane foam adhesive, on the underside of the roof, is a popular material for retrofitting.
  3. Roof Covering: Shingles are the most common type of roof covering. Install a roof covering that is both wind and impact-rated.
  4. Gable End Bracing: Gable roofs are more prone to wind damage because more of the wall is exposed. The shape yields itself to a "wind sail" effect and therefore needs additional support in the form of bracing.
  5. Foundation-to-Wall-to-Roof Connections: The roof and trusses need to be secured to the walls, which need to be secured to the foundation. This can be done through the use of straps or clips.
  6. Opening Protection: All openings in a home, including windows, doors and skylights, need to be protected. Only shutters that are pressure and impact-rated should be installed. If an emergency situation occurs, temporary shutters can be found at most big box retailers for an interim solution.
  7. Garage Doors: Garage door openings are most susceptible to wind because of the size of the opening and because garage doors are made of very light material for safety reasons. It is best to either install a garage door that has been impact-rated or protect the garage door with an approved shutter. A good option for garage door shutters are fabric screens.
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