Protecting your home from high wind
By: George Ziglar
If you live in Hampton Roads, odds are you have encountered high winds in the area. Last night in Newport News wind gusts were recorded up to 35 mph in one neighborhood! At Abbitt Realty we want you to be ready! Wind is an everyday part of life, whether it is a brief summer storm or gale force winds in a hurricane there are many things you can do to protect yourself. The first step on protecting your home is educating yourself on wind. Wind is measured on the Beaufort scale as explained below.
Wind Speed Type of wind Description
39 mph Gale Force Twigs and small branches blown off trees
47 mph Strong Gale Minor structural damage may occur, shingles blown off roof
55 mph Storm Trees can be uprooted and structural damage is likely
64 mph Violent Storm Widespread damage to structures
Now that you know a little more about high winds you can take steps to ensure your house stays safe when the wind picks up.
Check Local Building Codes
One of the worst things wind can damage is your roof. A poorly built roof that is not attached properly to the house can be blown off completely. It is important that your roof meets up with local codes. Building codes very by area due to the differences in weather that can occur.
Remove Trees and Possible Windborne Missiles
If the area closely surrounding your home contains trees, outbuildings, trash cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind, your house can be more likely to be damaged during a hurricane or tornado. The wind can topple trees onto your house and can pick up smaller objects and drive them through windows and glass doors. You should ensure that all trees on your property are far enough away to prevent them from damaging your home if they should fall. The distance between the structure and any nearby tree should always be greater than the height the tree will reach when it is fully grown. All storage sheds and other outbuildings should be securely anchored, either to a permanent foundation or with straps and ground anchors. Smaller objects, such as trash cans, barbecue grills, and outdoor furniture should also be anchored or, if you have adequate warning, moved indoors. You should also clear away any debris, such as fallen tree branches.
Whether you have shingles, metal roofing or a built up roof it is important to make sure it is secured. Hiring a roofer to inspect and repair any damaged parts of your roof will save you money in the long run. Paying to have a couple shingles nailed down a little tighter is cheaper than having to re-shingle an entire part of your roof. Ultimately we encourage you to follow the recommendations of a professional, trustworthy roofer.
With today’s advances in technology we usually know when a storm is going to hit, sometimes long before it hits. Powerful winds can often send debris flying through windows. To protect from this you can either install storm shutters or the cheaper solution use plywood to cover your windows. Modern windows can be expensive and it’s a good investment to protect them. Plywood will cost ten to fifteen cents per square foot and when properly installed it can increase the protection of your windows. For more information go to: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/13270