Building a Hurricane-Proof Home
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 each year and creates billions of dollars worth of damage. The addition of these life-saving safety features can protect your home from the ravages of hurricane force winds. Be sure to have your Florida home builder include these features during the home construction process, whether you are building a new home or updating an existing one. Many of these features are required as part of Florida’s updated building codes.
When building your new home be sure to discuss the use of concrete pilings with your home builder. The pilings elevate the structure so that it sits above the storm surge and helps to support the structure against heavy winds.
Most homes lose power during a hurricane, whether it’s because high winds take out lines, transformers blow or the power company shuts down equipment to minimize damage. Having a generator on hand after a storm can make a big difference. Talk with your custom home builder to determine whether you need a whole-house system or one that will run the essentials: lights, fans, and the refrigerator.
Windows and Doors
Impact-resistant glass or shutters are an essential feature for protecting your home from high winds and flying debris. Winds can bust windows and doors allowing water to damage the interior of your home but also allows wind and air pressure to rise within the house and can lift the roof. Many insurance companies offer rate reductions for homes equipped with shutters and impact-resistant glass, offsetting costs for installation. If you are building a new home shutter hardware can be integrated during the construction process.
Roof structures flying through the air is a nightmare right out of the “Wizard of Oz.” Ripped from the tops of homes and buildings during a hurricane not only is the home left in disarray but the roof itself can cause a great deal of damage. An update to code requirements on new home construction requires the installation of fastening systems, including tie-downs, lateral anchors, hold-downs, and embedded connectors.
Be sure to install impact-rated garage doors or brace an existing garage door before hurricane-force winds hit. The loss of your garage door during a wind storm can create an increase in air and wind pressure inside the home and cause the roof to raise and blow off.
Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and securely fastened at all times. Large amounts of rain typically accompany a hurricane, and if your gutters aren’t free of debris the water will back up and enter your home through the roof and attic.
Clear the Decks
Keeping your yard free of debris can go a long way toward keeping your home safe during a wind event. Prune trees, remove dead branches, consider putting patio furniture in the pool, reduce the amount of water in your pool, and put yard items that could be lifted by storm winds indoors.
Be sure to have an emergency kit before hurricane season begins. Your kit should contain a three-day supply of candles, batteries, potable water, non-perishable foods, pet foods, a first aid kit, etc.
Passage Island Construction has been serving Florida’s east coast since 1991. Call us at 772-388-8863 to discuss building a new home with these safety features to help you weather any storm.