Strong construction can help protect your house during a hurricane, and the right insurance can give you money to rebuild. These massive storms can destroy entire cities, so it is understandable to be concerned about your home. Coastal areas in low-lying zones face the most damage. But inland dwellers are at risk too. So how can you protect the dwelling before the onset of a storm? Even if your house construction follows local building codes, that doesn’t mean you are fully protected against all that hurricane season brings.
You can take the following extra precautions to make hurricane fortification improvements, helping to keep your home secure.
Retrofitting the roof should be your top priority. Consider installing a new long-lasting wind-resistant roof. Metal may be your best bet. Avoid asphalt-shingle roofs. If you are not able to replace your roof, you can still make improvements. There are common gaps between layers of plywood on the top and bottom of the shingles where the wind gets trapped. There is tape and sealant available that is specifically designed to seal these gaps. You can even invest in storm-resistant shingles on the top layer and use “ring shank” nails on the plywood bottom layer to help. Hip roofs, which have all four sides sloping downward, are safer than gable roofs, which have only two downward-sloping sides. Regardless, the goal is always to redirect wind away from the roof, which can be done with metal connectors. Reinforce where the top connects to the home’s wall and changes slope. A construction material called flashing can also keep water at bay and plug in the gaps.
Maximize protection with shutters on every window and exterior door. It is also smart to reinforce doors with impact-resistant material. Since sliding glass doors face the harshest damage, it is recommended to use tempered or toughened glass. All doors should have a minimum of three hinges and a one-inch deadbolt lock. Hurricane-proof doors are commonly made of Fiberglass or heavy metal, which will be safer than wood doors in strong winds.
It is crucial to have double or multi-paned glass and air-tight sealed windows to fight against strong winds. Storm shutters are another helpful protective layer between you and flying objects. The strongest materials for this are metal and polycarbonate plastic. If you are in a real pinch, nailing plywood panels to the windows before a storm is better than nothing.
Concrete, double-paneled walls are best, as they are stronger than brick or wood and can protect against heavy rains. Be sure to seal off any wall openings from the outside air with strong material (this can be done with a urethane-based caulk). Remember to secure cables and electrical outlets as well as any areas where pipes go through walls.
It is always smart to clean out your gutters and storm drains as part of your regular home maintenance. Clean gutters are much less likely to clog or leak during a rainstorm.
Garages/ Attached Structures
The garage door is the largest door in the house, and therefore one of, if not the most vulnerable spot during a hurricane to jeopardize the home. It is worth investing in reinforcements here. This is also an area where wind can easily reach the roof. Heavyweight, windowless doors made out of impact-tested material such as steel are best. It should be able to withstand at least 50 pounds of pressure per square foot. If you are not replacing the door, consider installing a bracing system with steel or high-quality aluminum reinforcement posts. Make sure that the door frames have tight screws and deadbolts.
A well-maintained yard can help prevent branches or trees from falling during a hurricane. Keep large plants trimmed so they can withstand wind. Avoid landscaping with rocks as those will become a serious hazard.
A standard home insurance policy can help you recover from natural disaster damages. However, it is important to keep in mind that it does not cover flood damage. An Augusta flood insurance policy can be your saving grace.
About SB One Insurance Agency
At SB One Insurance Agency, we have served the businesses and residents of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for more than 65 years. We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Provident Bank, the region’s premier banking institution, and we are prepared to offer you personal, business, employee benefits, and risk management solutions. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526.