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How to Storm-proof Your Home

How to Storm-proof Your Home


There is such a thing as ‘storm season’ but the reality of life is that you can never predict what Mother Nature will do or when she will do it. That’s why it’s a good idea to put some thought, work and money into storm-proofing your home as soon as you can. Even if you can afford homeowners insurance and even if your company pays the claim without a lot of hassle, it’s still better to have stuff just not get damaged in the first place, right?

Two of the areas that you’ll want to pay special attention to in storm-proofing your home are the windows and the doors. They both represent weak points that are likely to fail first in the event of storm-generated stresses that exceed their capacity to hold.

The easiest way to protect windows is to put up some storm shutters. They’ll cost you a little money but, again, it’s worth it.

People in coastal areas should be very familiar with storm shutters. They’re also called ‘hurricane shutters’ or ‘hurricane coverings’. They’re usually made of aluminium or steel but sometimes are also made of high-quality plywood and even special plastics like Lexan.

In shape they can be either a full window covering or they can also be a series of slates or blades that are activated by a handle that you ‘crank’ shut or open when needed. Some people make storm-shutters out of plywood and just nail them over their windows when a storm is coming. That works too… it’s just not as pretty.

There are other configurations too but the idea is that they add an extra layer of protection to prevent flying debris from breaking your windows and, in the even that your windows do break (i.e. from pressure differential) at least the broken glass is contained.

Next you’ve got your doors to worry about. The biggest problem with doors (which actually also applies to windows to some degree) is that their closure devices aren’t really very strong. Hinges and locks are easily broken by winds of the type that occur in most storms.

It is actually possible to put shutters over doors too but the usual solution is just to add more and/or better locks and connecting devices. Additional bolts and locks seldom cost more than $10-$40. If you’ve got a garage door to worry about, you can add stronger locks and hinges there too but you’ll also need to add some stronger bracing. You can buy that additional bracing from any garage door supply store or most home supply stores.

When the wind rises, you’ve just got to ‘batten down the hatches’ but if you’re prepared and you have storm-proofed your home correctly, you’ll come through the storm with ‘flying colors’.