There are lots of things you can do to make your home more wind-resistant but nothing replaces authentic materials and good, old-fashioned craftsmanship. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Improve Your Roofing’s Performance
Your roof, and the deck beneath it, forms one of your home’s most critical shields to wind and rain. Unfortunately, during high wind storms, it is often the first to be damaged. Loss of roof covering such as shingles, tiles or metal panes can make your home more susceptible to water damage. Loose roofing becomes wind-borne projectiles that can cause further damage to other structures. Luckily, roofing products with high wind resistance are available and a variety of installation techniques can be used on both new and existing homes to help protect against wind damage. Roofing underlayments, high performance shingles, even effective attic ventilation can all increase wind resistance. To withstand occasional or sustained high winds, it is critical that all shingles are properly installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Recently enacted high-wind performance standards for asphalt shingles have raised wind performance.
Protect Your Home’s Exterior
The exterior doors and windows of your home act as its protective shell. If broken, high winds can enter, putting pressure on your roof and walls. Solid wood or hollow metal doors better resist wind pressure and flying debris. Resistance is also increased by doors with at least three hinges and a deadbolt security lock with a minimum bolt throw of one inch. If you have double entry doors, install head and foot bolts on the inactive door. And since double-entry doors fail when surface bolts break at the header trim or threshold, check connections at both places. Surface bolts should extend through the door head and the threshold into the sub floor. Research shows that new advances in vinyl siding can also protect your home’s exterior. Products on the market now include siding that resists winds up to 250 miles per hour.
Brace Garage Doors
Garage doors can be especially at risk during high winds. Unless you have a tested hurricane-resistant door, winds may force it out of its roller track—especially if the track is light weight or some of the anchor bolts are not in place. This occurs because the door deflects too much under excessive wind pressure and fails. If you are building a new home, consider installing horizontally-braced, singlewide garage doors as an alternative to double overhead doors. Check with your garage door manufacturer about retrofit bracing kits for existing homes. Some door panels, particularly those that are doublewide, may require both horizontal and vertical bracing for best stability.