Thursday, June 11, 2015

Is Your Home Ready to Weather The Perfect Storm?

When it comes to buying a house in an area prone to heavy storms or hurricanes and tornadoes, buyers like to see that their future home is built to withstand the worst of these disasters. However, even if you have no intention of selling your existing home or buying a new one in the near future, consider some of these changes to make your home safer for you and your family.

Chaparral Supercell 2.JPG
"Chaparral Supercell 2" by Greg Lundeen - {{http://www.srh.noaa.gov/elp/swww/v8n1/Chaparral%20Supercell%202.JPG}} si c'est une photo personnelle, sinon le lien vers la page internet d'où elle vient. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Wind

For places with wind speeds that exceed 110 miles per hour, the 2003 International Residential Code announced that those houses must meet certain standards to combat storms. One story houses are less likely to be impacted by high winds, and a hip roof is recommended over a gable roof. A moderately pitched roof slope is the best way to go.

Water

The best protection against water incursion is a strong and steady roof. Even in areas with strong winds, water usually causes the most damage during a storm. Extending a fascia board to a 1 by 6 will make the water drip off the sides of the house even if winds try to push it towards the center of the roof. Wind-resistant asphalt shingles are the most expensive ($10,000 - $15,000), but they work the best for keeping water from leaking through.

Sealed Protection

It's not just the durability of your roof you have to be worried about during a storm. Special impact-resistant doors are your best bet for windblown obstacles, but at least make sure you have outwardly swinging doors; that way, it won't just be a simple lock holding your door closed against 100 mph winds. For anyone tired of putting up plywood and using hurricane shutters during a storm, a specialist from Storm Shield LLC recommends looking into impact windows. These windows are designed to hold when struck by debris, protecting the home from hurricane damage. Garage doors are typically built with weak materials, and upgrading them will cost about $200-300 more than your original door. To protect your windows, get storm shutters, or buy impact-resistant glass, which will splinter or shatter upon impact, but the pieces will stay together in the frame.

Cost

Buying storm-resistant materials and upgrades can be much more expensive than those that are not. However, consider how much you will have to pay in damages if you know you live in a place of high risk for a perfect storm. Even if your insurance covers the cost, your premium amounts will go up. The cheapest alternatives are special hurricane outdoor ties, out-swinging doors, reinforced garage doors, and storm shutters.

Is your home prepared for the perfect storm? Find out more information about your location's weather warnings and history, and take any necessary precautions to keep your home and family safe.


Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

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