Written by 10:51 pm Interior Design

How to Build A Hurricane-Proof Home

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Whilst most of us see the thought of encountering a hurricane as far-fetched, a real and frankly rather dangerous threat loom over certain states and one that needs to be addressed. Time and time again, we have seen catastrophic events caused by hurricanes such as Maria and Michael which resulted in hundreds of deaths and millions of property damage. If you have a home or are planning to build one in hurricane-prone states like Florida or Puerto Rico, you need to throw caution to the wind and take the necessary precautions.

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Possible repercussions of a hurricane

Even if lives aren’t lost, a hurricane can do massive damage both to your interior and the overall structural integrity of your house. Hurricanes can easily break windows not designed to withstand strong winds. And once your windows are gone, a hurricane can easily ravage everything inside. In extreme cases, if a window breaks, the walls are also likely to follow suit (if they were constructed using wood or paneling). Luckily, hurricane-proof house construction isn’t that complicated. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to start from scratch when hurricane-proof constructing your home. Although newer homes have better structural integrity than older homes, a few modifications are more than enough to offset that difference. 

Plan your budget wisely

Hurricane-proofing can take quite a toll on your bank account. It is worth reiterating here that hurricane-proofing is a necessary investment, but that being said you can save a lot of cash if you plan ahead. 

The lesser space you have to work with the better. If you’re building a house from the ground up, try to keep it to the essentials. This will massively reduce the cost associated with hurricane-proofing. Construction is preferable in terms of pricing, as protecting an already existing structure can prove to be almost twice as costly. So, before you go about installing hurricane-resistant features, consider either cutting down on the square feet of area you have available, or make sure you have the budget to see this through.

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Install impact resistant windows and doors

One of the highly recommended things you can do to protect your property and your loved ones is to install windows made of impact resistant glass and reinforced doors. Your primary goal is to keep the winds from entering your home and these installations will do just that. Hurricane impact windows are multi-layered windows made from high quality tempered glass and accompanied by sealants. Doors either made entirely of steel, or reinforced by it stand a much better chance of withstanding the storm outside than normal unreinforced doors. All in all, your house will offer a much higher protection against hurricanes and will also save the interior from flooding.

Sure, these types of windows and doors are more expensive, but in the event of a hurricane; doors and windows can expose all of your furniture, your decorative items, your electronics, and other stuff if they give way to the storm. Think of the damage you can prevent just by installing a more durable hurricane impact windows and doors.

Robust construction materials

Much of a building’s resistance to a hurricane comes from the material used to construct it. The building blocks of your house so to speak. If you already have a house built with ordinary material, then this one may not be economically feasible, but if you are in the process of building your home; it is strongly advised to pick sturdy materials. Concrete and steel are by far the best combination against storms and will almost certainly provide protection through many hurricanes. On the other hand, material like wood can easily crumble under the high-pressure winds that blow so relentlessly during a storm. Also, materials used in construction need to be able to dry quickly after light or heavy showers as this prevents the onset of mold and mildew which can reduce the structural stability of your house over time.

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Strategize to divert wind direction from your house

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If your house does not take the brunt of the storm, the chances of survival increase drastically. There are several modifications you can make to divert the main focus of the storm away from your house or shield it from most of the force. 

Hurricane plates and clips can take on a significant portion of the pressure of the house. These work best in unison with tie-down straps which divert the pressure off the house and onto its foundations which stand a much better chance of bearing excessive load. In a nutshell, tie-down straps fasten your house to its concrete foundations through an interlocking mechanism made from durable steel. Hurricane straps can also be used to prove your roof; thus, saving your roof from crumbling. They can be fastened on to wooden beams and do a much better job of distributing the load more evenly across the structure and enabling it to bear the pressure more efficiently.

Of course, you cannot leave out hurricane shutters that are easily the most valuable investment when building a hurricane proof home. These shutters cover all possible entrances (discussed earlier when we were talking about doors and windows) and ensure that winds and torrents outside, and stay outside. These shutters are usually made from metal or polycarbonate plastic.

Your life is the most important thing!

At the end of the day, your life is above everything else. Broken items can be replaced and damaged property can be repaired. However, there can be nothing done for lives lost. Hence, it is always a good idea to protect your house from severe catastrophe. Not only do these measures ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, but also spending an extra few dollars can save you a lot later on. Furthermore, these upgrades do not impact the visual aesthetic of your house either. You can be safe and fashionable at the same time. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Make a wise decision and start getting ready today.

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