Retrofitting Your Home for Hurricane Protection – part one
The key to hurricane protection is to block all entry points for the hurricane wind into your house. Also the exterior of your house should be strengthened so that the hurricane winds and wind debris do not create cracks in the exterior. This means that you may have to retrofit and strengthen the roof, windows, doors, and garage doors.
You should factor retrofitting your home for hurricanes anytime you are getting a home-improvement job done. Ensure that whatever additions you have in mind conform to the local building code. Compliance with codes is essential as they mean that your house is up-to-date with the latest safety measures that experts have come up with from past experience.
Any construction on an open ground or within 2000 feet of an open expanse of water is at greater risk from hurricane winds and the subsequent damage. Tree limbs, pebbles, dirt, parts from mobile homes, carports, awnings, etc can create openings that can let in wind and water into your house. These and similar items can become wind borne and damage your roof and windows.
The first step to retrofitting a house for hurricane protection is to check what retrofitting, if at all, is required. Get an architect or civil engineer to run a check on your house to find out any potentially weak spots that need to be reinforced. See what is required, do you need hardware to strengthen the doors or do you need to secure the patio. Is the garage door sturdy enough to withstand hurricane winds? Get roofing professional to determine any repairs that may be required. Do tiles need replacing? Are the roofing boards secured to the trusses?
Get in touch with your local building department for maximum understanding on how to best go about a retrofitting project. They may also be able to guide you to contractors who have a reputation for retrofitting at reasonable rates. The local building authorities will also help you get a building permit should one be required for carrying out a retrofitting project.
Sooner or later your roofing will give way; patchwork and temporary repairs may help you for a season or two but ultimately you may have to consider replacing the roof. Check your roof for leaks, light creeping through cracks, discolored paint, peeling wallpaper, cracks in the gypsum boards. These are signs that the roof needs repairs. Asphalt shingles need to be replaced after around 15 years; you may have to replace them early if you live in a region with high winds and hot sun.
David G. - July - 2018 - Sarasota, Florida
We wanted to self-install so we bought accordions and roll downs from Empire Construction.We measured our window and patio and sent Empire the specs.The shutters were an exact match.Installation is very doable for two reasonably mechanical people. In this case it was only one mechanical person and some extra hands. The accordions were a breeze as installation was mostly marking holes for spots, drilling holes, and screwing them in.Our accordions have locking pins that hold them open and act as a second lock when closed. Even if a projectile breaks the lock the rods will keep the shutters closed.These shutters are Bertha HV1. They are High Velocity Hurricane Zone Approved. Having seen a wide range of shutters we are extremely happy with the quality of the product we received!!
Jim J. - June - 2018 - Homestead , Florida
I installed fourteen aluminum accordion shutters which I purchased from Empire Construction.I could not be happier with my choice.The shutters are made very well and are powder-coated.The purchase included all of the required hardware which was powder-coated to match the shutters.The company is very customer-oriented.Michael and his staff were wonderful.They were attentive, helpful, and a delight to work with.The installation video on the website made the installation very easy.I highly recommend Empire Construction to anyone considering a purchase of hurricane shutters. Thanks again. Please say Hi to everyone,