With hurricane season upon us (hello: Harvey and Irma), it’s more important than ever for coastal homeowners to prepare their abodes for hurricane-force winds, tropical storms and possible flooding. While we hope you never have to deal with any of these horrible disasters, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Fortunately for those who live in a hurricane zone, there are ways (very good ways, in fact!) to protect your home from hurricane damage. Some improvements are as simple as pruning trees and cleaning gutters. Other changes may cost an extra thousand dollars but are well worth every penny. Not only is hurricane proofing a home good for resale value, but it also ensures that you’ll still have that home to sell later on.
If you’re currently house-hunting for a beach house, I recommend adding these 5 hurricane-proof improvements to your home buying checklist as well. Trust me when I say that they can make a big difference when it comes to how well your home weathers the next monster storm. Follow these steps to learn how to build a hurricane proof house.
How to Hurricane Proof Your Home
Install a metal roof If you’re moving to a hurricane zone, you’re going to need a hurricane proof roof. Otherwise, your home may not survive the next major storm. With constant exposure to wind, rain and other outside forces, a home’s roof is one of the most (if not, the most) vulnerable parts of the house. And if you live in an environment prone to tropical storms and hurricane-force winds, your roof is sure to take a beating, no matter how well it’s built. Fortunately, there is a material that can withstand a hurricane’s high wind speeds and torrential downpours: metal. If you’re purchasing a home that does not already have a metal roof, I highly recommend installing one. Metal roofing is one of the most popular types of wind-resistant roofing available. According to American Building Components, metal roofing is outfitted in interlocking panels to “provide unique strength and security.” This type of roofing can also resist winds of up to 140-mph. The company also notes that a metal roof can last 50 years, which is “more than double the lifespan of traditional asphalt shingle roofs.” When installing a metal roof on your home, you’ll need to make sure it meets all state and local building codes. The cost of a metal roof is another important consideration. According to the Improvement Center, wind-resistant roofing costs more than average roofing. The company notes that in low-wind areas, you should budget $1000 extra and in high wind areas, the costs could increase up to $5000 extra. Install impact windows If you’re house hunting in a hurricane zone, you’re sure to hear the words “impact glass” quite a lot (especially if you have a good Realtor). In Florida, this type of glass is practically a prerequisite for many future homeowners. These impact windows are made of impact-resistant glass which is safely and securely installed into the window frame. The durable, strong glass is built to keep heavy rain, hail, hurricane-force winds and flying objects from shattering your windows. According to BobVila.com, “a broken window provides a point of entry for wind, which enters the house, increases pressure, and seeks another way out.” During a storm, this can cause serious destruction in a home. Thankfully, impact windows prevent this from happening in the first place. Given that they are particularly difficult to break, impact windows will keep potential burglars at bay as well. However, installing shatter-proof, wind-resistant windows in your home will cost you. Just like a hurricane proof roof, these impact glass windows cost more than your average, run-of-the-mill windows. According to The Balance, “a good hurricane window cost will be between $40 and $55 a square-foot, and this will include the frame and the hurricane-proof glass.” The cost of impact glass may seem high, but it’s simply the price you pay for peace of mind. Replace wood doors with Fiberglass doors In addition to windows, make sure your doors to the outside are impact and wind-resistant. When a hurricane rolls through, debris inevitably goes flying through the air. Unfortunately, it only takes one of these windblown items flying at hurricane-force winds to knock the average front door down. Once its knocked open, more wind, debris and water can enter into the interior of the home. This can result in significant structural damage from increased pressurization, as well as flooding from excess water. To avoid these disasters (and others), take precautions by installing hurricane proof doors to the outside. Hurricane proof doors are typically made of Fiberglass. According to The Balance, these doors are built tougher than your average door and can be made to look like wood. The articles notes that Fiberglass doors rarely scratch, peel or warp, “and can resist different weather conditions performing better and lasting longer than wood doors.” In addition to being able to withstand strong wind forces, Fiberglass doors are more energy efficient as well. The price of a Fiberglass door varies by customization but typically hovers around the $1,500 to $2,000 mark. Landscape the yard One of the best ways to keep your home protected from a hurricane is to simply prep your yard. Regular landscaping and yard maintenance can go a long way in preventing damage and destruction to your home during hurricane season. First, clean your gutters. By clearing the gutters around the home of leaves and various debris, rainwater from hurricanes and tropical storms will be able to move more easily off the roof. Second, prune all trees and bushes surrounding your home. Don’t forget to also remove coconuts and loose branches that present a potential danger to your home’s exterior. If you spot a tree that looks like it’s sure to topple over, call to have it professionally removed. However, Jacksonville.com points out that any questionable trees should first be examined by a certified arborist. Install a metal garage door According to CNN Money, “80 percent of residential hurricane damage starts with wind entry through garage doors.” For this reason, it’s particularly important that you upgrade your garage door. Lightweight garage doors are susceptible to wind and flooding. If your garage door breaks due to hurricane winds, you can bet the inside of that garage will be flooded in no time – ruining your car and everything else inside. This is so common, in fact, that “the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified loss of garage doors as one of the major factors contributing to hurricane storm damage in homes,” according to HouseLogic. If you live in a hurricane zone, make sure your garage doors are designed to combat a hurricane’s force. Most hurricane proof garage doors are made of steel. Many also come with add-on reinforcement posts. These steel posts can be installed before a storm approaches. The posts will keep the garage door in place in the event of hurricane force winds. HouseLogic notes that impact-resistant garage doors typically cost between $750 and $1,295.
Ready to move?
Before moving to your coastal abode, make sure you hire the right movers for the job. To find the best moving company to handle your upcoming move, check Moving.com’s extensive network of reputable and reliable movers. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Good luck and happy moving!