There are several different ways you can mitigate the wind and its potential damage to your home. While using more than one will definitely strengthen your home against wind during a storm, you do not have to implement more than one method to get relief.
If you are looking to do wind mitigation improvements on your home for the sake of homeowner’s insurance discounts, then the more you do, the better. Some wind mitigation improvements may not have a dramatic impact on the discounts you are eligible to receive.
The more you do, the better protected you are. In terms of insurance discounts, you need to focus on structural improvements. For overall storm preparedness, you can do several things to protect yourself and your home.
Check for loose shingles. Do this only if you are capable of safely using a ladder and when you have someone with you. Make repairs as necessary.
Inspect the roof from the inside of the attic, to make sure you do not see light from outside, or wet damage. If you see any damage, repair it as necessary.
If you must redo your roof, consider placing a water barrier between the shingles and the rest of the roof. This will help keep water damage from the rest of the home should your roof be ripped from the top of the home during a storm.
If your roof was built with gables, brace the gables properly. This is typically not a do it yourself job, and should be left to a contractor.
Installing an anchoring system in the walls from the roof to the floor will keep the outer walls of your home stronger. When the outer walls of your home do not collapse under the pressure of the wind, the inside of your home is protected from debris and water damage.
When there is less debris and water damage in your home, it is much easier to clean up and gets you back to your home much quicker after the storm has passed.
Doors and windows
For the ultimate wind mitigation, you should use impact resistant or hurricane resistant glass in all the windows and doors in the home. Because of this expensive investment, many people opt for alternative protective measures.
Alternative protective measures include:
- Using reinforcement kits to reinforce doors
- Installing shutter systems to protect windows when needed.
- Using plywood sheets over windows and doors in the days before the coming storm.
If your windows were installed prior to March 2002, it is likely they do not meet the new, stricter and more wind mitigation friendly Florida building code. It may be time to replace the windows to bring them up to code.
Make sure the hinges of your doors and jambs are in proper condition. Tighten screws.
Check the garage door. If it is older than 2002, then it is likely it is not up to the current Florida building code. It is not a wind resistant door. Upgrade the door or use a reinforcement kit to make sure it is strong.
Do not use your car in an attempt to make the garage door more wind resistant. This will do nothing more than damage your vehicle.
Keep all trees trimmed to avoid branches falling down in a storm.
When you get news a storm is headed your way, remove all furniture and other outdoor items to a safe location inside. You will greatly reduce the damage potential when you remove items that could become debris in a neighbor’s yard.