Reinforce Your Property Against Hurricanes

Reinforce Your Property Against Hurricanes

Homeowners still have time to prepare for a potentially ‘above-normal’ hurricane season

Hurricane season has begun, and homeowners in coastal states should get prepared. Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting an active Atlantic hurricane season in 2024, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  estimates 17 to 25 named storms could form, potentially wreaking havoc on properties along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Fortunately, homeowners are not powerless. There’s still time to prepare properties and reduce the risk of damage. Experts at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) have identified areas of homes that are most vulnerable to high winds and heavy rain and ways they can be strengthened to reduce damage.

IBHS research shows that reinforcing the roof, garage doors, and openings, like windows and doors, provides the greatest protection against high winds by helping keep rain and storm pressure from entering a home and allowing damage to escalate.

Level Up the Roof

IBHS testing shows asphalt shingles, particularly as they age, can dislodge in winds as low as 60 mph. Once the roof cover is lost, rain can pour into a house through the gaps in the wood roof decking. In fact, researchers estimate that for every inch of rain, the equivalent of nine bathtubs of water can enter a home this way.

When it’s time to re-roof, ask your contractor to install the new roof following the FORTIFIED Home – Roof™ standard. It requires a sealed roof deck, which can reduce the risk of water intrusion by as much as 95%. The system of protection offered by a FORTIFIED Roof is proven in lab studies and real-world events to better withstand torrential rain and winds up to 130 mph.

Install a Wind-rated Garage Door

Garage doors are one of the most vulnerable parts of a home during high winds. Powerful gusts can push a garage door inward, allowing pressure to build inside and push up on the roof and out on surrounding walls – often resulting in a cascade of damage.

The good news? Wind-rated garage doors that have been tested to show they can withstand these pressures are available and can help protect your home.

Protect Windows and Doors

Typical glass-in windows and doors can be shattered by high winds and flying debris during a hurricane. This can allow wind and pressure to enter the home, causing damage to the interior and threatening the structural integrity of the entire home. Upgrade to impact-rated windows and doors or purchase hurricane shutters to maintain a strong building envelope during the next storm.

Even if a budget doesn’t allow for major home upgrades, there are several DIY and budget-friendly ways to continue preparing a property. Find a full checklist of science-backed steps in IBHS’s free Hurricane Ready guide.

Read more of our tips and ideas in the Homeowner Resources section.

Stay In The Know

Do you want to keep up with the latest resiliency research? Would you like timely tips and reminders to keep your home safe from Mother Nature? Are you interested in the science behind the FORTIFIED standard?  Then sign up for the FORTIFIED Update, today!