Wind mitigation is the process of including certain features in a home to help protect it against windstorm damage. Though more common in coastal homes more susceptible to hurricanes and other damaging storms, there are many benefits to wind mitigation for your home. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and it might save you big!
Wind mitigation is not limited to one thing or feature in your home. Whether you have one or more features in your home, it can help protect you in the event of a storm, and it may also lower your homeowner’s insurance premium.
With a secondary water barrier in place, you are protecting your home from water intrusion should your home lose the shingles on the roof. Installing a sealed roof deck will also increase the insulation in your home to help it with energy efficiency. This will help keep your heating and cooling bills lower throughout the year, saving you even more money.
Check your local building codes to determine the allowed materials and methods for installing a roof deck before starting the project.
Don’t forget to protect the vents in your home, too! Wind damage can push water into the home through vents. If you have gable vents, protect them from the inside via the attic. Use a non-porous material to keep water from seeping through the covering.
Roof to Wall Anchoring
By reinforcing your foundation-to-wall, wall-to-roof, and floor-to-floor (in multi-story homes) connections, you establish a “continuous load path.” This continuous load path makes it more resistant to high wind forces that will come across the home in the middle of storm. Places where damage occurs are typically weak parts of the load path.
A gable is the triangle shaped part of the wall and the edges of the slope of your roof. The gable end is the entire wall that includes the gable and the wall below it. If you have a gable taller than four feet, bracing and reinforcing the frame from the top and bottom is an excellent wind mitigation technique.
This job is best left to a licensed professional, because no two gable end bracing systems are the same. They are designed specific to your home’s location and the type of construction used to build it.
Protect your windows with shutters. If you don’t like the way shutters appear on the outside of your home, then you could opt for a shatterproof or an impact resistant glass to be installed in all your windows and doors. However, switching to this type of glass is expensive.
Windows featuring impact resistant glass are heavier, so they are not as convenient to open and close for day-to-day enjoyment. They also will not stop debris from entering the home if they are fractured. As such, shuttering is the more popular option.
Shutters are available in many materials: steel, plexiglass, aluminum, or cloth. The shutters can be: permanent fixtures on the home, accordion style, or be automated so they roll down and lock with just a click of a button.
Because water can get around the shutters, make sure to check the frame inside and outside the home to make sure water has not gotten into the walls.
Opt for doors that open out rather than in, as this can strengthen them against wind. Wind resistant doors are heavier than traditional doors. Regardless of door, make sure the frames are solid, and reinforce them if necessary.
Shutter your garage door, double doors, or French doors. Do not rely on your car to reinforce the garage door, as this will only result in damage to your vehicle.