8 TIPS FOR BUILDING HURRICANE SAFE HOMES

Homes are a place of safety, security, and refuge. The place where we can come after a long day and relax. There’s a big problem then when outside elements like hurricanes mess with our homes. In those moments it is easy to feel panicked. After all our homes are our safe places.

Because hurricanes seem to only be intensifying in their severity it is important to ensure that your home is safe before a hurricane is on the radar. Here are eight ways to ensure that your home, at a foundational level, is prepared for the next big storm.

1. ROOF WITH INTENTION

To protect your property both from water damage and flying shingles it is imperative to make sure that your roofing is attached well. Ensure that builders fasten the roof deck to the frame by nailing the sheathing with ring-shank nails. These nails will ensure that your roof won’t be torn off your house by wind and pressure changes. Not only that but also seal the roof deck to minimize potential water damage to your attic.

2. SHUTTER IT UP

Broken glass will only make clean up more difficult. Instead, make sure that your windows will be break proof by investing in strong shutters or roll-downs. Bonus, they’ll also help keep out the sun and lower energy bills!

3. BRACE YOUR GARAGE

Pressure changes are just as dangerous as water damage when it comes to messing with your house. Water outside of the house or high wind speeds can both create changes in pressure which can cause the garage door to cave In and rip off its tracks. Instead, install a garage door bracing system to prevent pressure from caving in the doors and causing even more damage.

4. ELEVATION, ELEVATION, ELEVATION

Every property is located on different levels of elevation. Learn what your properties base flood elevation (BFE) is from the local building department. Check the property survey to find the elevation of the lowest floor where you live and plan to elevate your building if it’s under the flood line. This is the surest way that your home and belongings will stay safe even in the face of rising water.

5. DRY FLOODPROOF

If you aren’t wanting to elevate your building another option is dry floodproofing where all the areas below flood level are sealed and made watertight. The walls are coated with rubberized sheets or special waterproofing compounds.

6. WET FLOODPROOF

Another option for the easiest post flood clean up possible is to outfit your house with waterproof materials during the building process.

Building Materials

  • Clay, concrete, or ceramic tile
  • Galvanized or stainless-steel nails
  • Hurricane clips
  • Indoor-outdoor carpeting with synthetic backing (do not fasten down)
  • Vinyl, terrazzo, rubber, or vinyl floor covering with waterproof adhesives
  • Metal doors and window frames
  • Polyester-epoxy paint
  • Stone, slate, or cast stone (with waterproof mortar)
  • Styrofoam insulation
  • Water resistant glue

7. INSTALL PROPER BOLTS

To protect your doors, it’s important that all your outside doors are equipped with deadbolts in order to hold them in place when they are assaulted with pressure changes caused by rising flood waters.

8. TIE DOWN TO THE FOUNDATION

A house is only as strong as its foundation, ensure that yours is strong by having it tied together with metal connectors/hurricane straps, clips, or ties during construction. These ties will insure that the house stays together in one piece.

MOLD TIPS

When it comes to protecting your house after a storm it is vital to stop dangerous mold growth in its tracks. Remember, when first dealing with a flooded building the most important step is to Air Out the area. The wet spots, broken waterpipes, or trapped water areas must be repaired and dried fully as well as be cleaned to ensure that the mold will not grow back. Never touch mold with your bare hands, always wear a mask, gloves and goggles to protect yourself from mold spores. The key to eliminating mold growth is controlling moisture. Be sure to increase ventilation by opening windows or running a fan in humid areas such as bathrooms.

Hurricanes are a force of nature and it’s important to remember to breathe during this incredibly stressful time. Make sure to stay safe and healthy while repairing your home by following safe protection methods during clean up.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONSULT:

Repairing your flooded home:

https://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4540081_repairingFloodedHome.pdf

EPA Guide to Mold:

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/moldguide12.pdf

FEMA initial Restoration for Flooded Buildings:

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1604-20490-7953/fema549_apndx_e_ra2.pdf