Preparing Your House for Extreme Weather

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wind damage, home construction, load damage

Living in the South there is one thing we have learned; you can never be too cautious about taking the steps needed to provide adequate protection for us and our homes when it comes to extreme weather.

In some parts of the South houses can experience all sorts of extreme weather, from hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms with straight line winds, to even the occasional snowstorm.

No matter where you live, you will always be faced with the prospect of having to deal with the types of elements that our ever changing weather will give. Building your home to accommodate for some of these aspects could be a lifesaving investment.

Wind Damage:

At some point during the year we will be exposed to some type of wind. This can be particularly true with a home on the lake.

There will be wind during spring and fall thunderstorms, from the threat of tornadoes, as well as strong winds with the passage of fast moving cold fronts that will bring snow and rain. Here are a few ideas to help construct your house to overcome the threat of strong winds.

  • Hurricane Straps: Hurricane straps are designed to help hold your roof to your wall during high winds. These straps can also be located at the bottom of your studs helping hold your walls down to the bottom plates of your home. It is better for these straps to be installed while your building is under construction. If your building has been completed without these straps, get in touch with your local contractor to see if your building can be retrofitted with these straps.
  • Extra Attic Bracing: This can also be done while in the stages of construction, but you can always retrofit and add to the existing bracing that you have now.
  • Window and Door Shutters: Operating shutters will provide you the extra protection against wind damage to your doors and windows.

Load and Limb Damage:

The damage caused will depend on your location. If you live up north, or in areas that receive a lot of snowfall you will need to take precautions to accommodate the extra weight from the long lasting effects of the snow.

If you live south, in some of the more wooded areas, you will need to protect yourself from falling limbs due to higher winds. Here are a few precautions to consider:

  • Extra Roof Bracing: No matter in which part of the country you live, it is always a good idea to add a little extra bracing. Taking this precaution will help you especially in areas where you are exposed to a large amount of snowfall. The excessive amount of weight that is accumulated during these periods of snowfall will put a strain on your roof. Bracing will also help protect from any damage caused from falling objects, such as tree limbs and branches.
  • Type of Roof: The type of roof should also be considered when you are building or remodeling. A metal roofing could help add extra weight bearing capacity needed for long lasting protection. In some areas, windy conditions will blow away parts of a shingle roof, causing leaks (that will cause more damage to your home). In some colder locations, these shingles become brittle and break during high wind conditions, causing the same potential for leaks.

Regardless of the type of construction projects you are involved with, be sure to get in touch with your local contractor to help with precautions you will need to take to prepare your home for extreme weather.


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