The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. It is important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. Make sure to enforce the critical areas of your home, which include the roof, straps, shutters, doors, and garage doors.
Protecting your roof is vital to preventing your house from collapsing, especially if you have a gable fit roof. To secure your gable end wall, fasten eight-foot long braces to the bottom chord of the gable truss and the adjacent trusses with sixteen-penny nails. The braces must be perpendicular to the truss, spaced at a maximum of four feet on center. Also, be sure to tie back the gable truss with at least one eight-foot long brace, along the ridge of the roof, to several of the interior trusses. If you have a shingle roof, be sure to hire a professional to inspect if the adhesive is in proper condition for weather damage. Take the next step of cementing the shingles to the roof if you want to be extra precacious. To cement the shingle tabs to the underlying shingles, place two spots of quick-setting asphalt cement about the size of a quarter under each tab with a putty knife or caulking gun. Press the tab into the adhesive. Be sure to cement all the tabs throughout the roof, being careful not to bend them farther than necessary when applying the adhesive. Replace any damaged shingles immediately.
Also make sure to secure where your roof and wall meet. Metal hurricane straps ensure protection for those places in your home where the roof and wall connect. To install hurricane straps and clips, remove the roof sheathingaround the perimeter of the roof to reveal the top of the wall. You may also need to remove the soffit and exterior cladding to reveal the top 12 to 18 inches of the wall. In addition, if the exterior cladding is brick veneer, you may need to remove small sections of brick as needed. If your roof has trusses, make sure you tie them to the wall by either anchoring to the top plate and then the top plate to the wall stud, or strapping the truss directly to the wall stud.
To further secure your home, make sure your home is equipt with shutters. Impact resistant shutters are a great option. They protect against flying objects and sudden pressure changes that could break or weakend the structure of your door or home. A good option for new homes are laminated window systems, or plastic bonded to glass. If your home has permanent shutters, make sure to have them inspected for quality and effectiveness. Also, impact-resistant windows are very effective in protecting your windows from flying debris, even large objects.
Make it a priority to secure the doors in your home. to secure your doors, install head and foot bolts on the inactive door of double-entry doors, make sure your doors have at least three hinges and a dead bolt security lock which has a minimum one inch bolt throw length, and make sure the surface bolt of any double doors extends into the door header and through the threshold into the subfloor. You must even make sure to retrofit your garage door for a storm. To secure your garage door, check with your local government building official to see if there are code requirements for garage doors in your area and check with your local building supplier or garage door retailer to see if a retrofit kit is available for your garage door.
In preparation for hurricane season, take all these precautions to retrofit your home and look into flood insurance. Better safe than sorry.
To read more, please visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/retrofit/secure_home.shtml.