Get Storm-Ready: Simple Tricks to Hurricane-Proof Your Home

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With hurricane season underway, we know many of you along the New England coast are thinking about how to better storm-proof your homes. As Connecticut residents ourselves, we completely understand the desire to avoid roof leaks, window breaks, flooding, and days without power whenever the next big storm strikes. We can’t control the weather, but we can control how prepared our homes are to weather the blows. That’s why we’ve put together this guide covering some of the best hurricane home improvement projects to harden your house against wind and water damage. As a home remodeler, We’re always looking for ways to make homes safer, more comfortable, and better able to handle the stresses of coastal living. Whether you DIY or hire out the work, these upgrades will help reduce your weather worries. So let’s dive in!

Reinforce Your Roof

Your roof really bears the brunt when hurricane winds and rain start blasting away. Making sure it’s up for the job should be priority number one on your prep list.

Cartoon image of contractors replacing roof shingles
  • Impact-Resistant Shingles

    Swapping out those basic asphalt shingles for impact-resistant ones can seriously cut your chances of wind damage. If you’re looking at a roof repair or replacement anyway, going this route will only cost you a tiny bit more than regular shingles. But it sure beats having to completely replace the roof if storms rip it to shreds!

  • Roof Bracing

    Without the right attachments, hurricane-force winds can literally lift your roof right off the walls! Having a contractor add reinforced clips, ties, and anchors creates critical structural connections to keep the roof locked down tight.

Protect Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are weak spots where wind and rain can come streaming in. A few upgrades here will really help hunker down your home.

  • Impact-Resistant Windows

    Special laminated glass in impact-resistant windows can take hits from storm debris without shattering to bits. You can buy new windows fully equipped, or just replace the panes in your existing ones. Pricey but worth it for the windows facing the worst winds!

  • Reinforced Entryways

    Big winds can blow right through hollow exterior doors. Swap in solid core doors anchored firmly to the wall with hinge anchors. Top it off by installing impact-rated storm doors for extra protection.

Manage Water Flow

It’s not just wind that’ll do damage during a hurricane. Flood waters can wreak havoc too. Taking proactive steps to keep them under control can potentially prevent tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. Flood damage tends to be one of the more difficult types of home repair to handle, due to the lasting effects moisture can cause if left unchecked.

  • French Drains

    French drains are a simple but effective way to channel water away from your foundation before it pools up and seeps inside. Install them around the perimeter of your place to prevent flooding and erosion.

  • Sump Pumps

    A battery backup sump pump will kick in to keep your basement dry even if the power fails. It’s cheap insurance against water damage to your belongings and foundation woes.

    For more information on sump pumps and help identifying if one is necessary for your home, check out our full article on sump pumps. 

Strengthen Your Foundation

Your home’s foundation bears the entire load of the structure. Protect it from storm surge and flooding at all costs.

  • Elevate on Pilings

    For homes in flood zones, getting lifted up on pilings reduces the chance of water damage and brings you up to the latest code requirements. Open foundations also help wind pass through. While this is a very expensive and time consuming project, it is one of the most definitive ways to ensure your home is not at risk to flood damage. For higher end properties in flood zones or across the Connecticut coastline, this may be a worthwhile consideration.

  • Waterproof Basement Walls

    Sealing up basement walls with waterproofing compounds creates a barrier to keep out leaks that could undermine the foundation over time.

Invest in Backup Power

Losing electricity really limits your options during a storm. Get backup power sources so you can weather the outages.

  • Generators

    There are a few options available for home generators. Standby generators generally kick in automatically when power is lost, but often require professional installation and are more expensive. Portable generators are more common, can be installed by most homeowners without assistance, and are a more cost effective option.

  • Solar and Batteries

    Solar panels linked to home batteries let you tap into renewable energy when the grid’s down. Tesla’s Powerwall is an increasingly popular option in higher-end homes. There are many options for local solar companies, each with their own unique pros and cons, so we recommend heavily researching your local area’s solar companies before making any decisions.

Make Your Landscaping Storm-Ready

With a little strategic landscaping, you can avoid issues from wind and water damage. Here are some good moves:

  • Strategic Tree Removal

    Take out dead trees and thin dense stands to improve wind resistance. Focus on trees that could hit your home or block drainage.

  • Wind-Resistant Fencing

    Swap deteriorating wood fences for wind-tough materials like metal, brick, or concrete. Install them properly so they stand up to hurricane gusts.

Battening down the hatches in your Connecticut home to withstand hurricanes means taking stock of its vulnerabilities and addressing them through upgrades and resilience measures. Start with immediate needs like the roof, foundation, and windows before moving on to power and drainage upgrades. While pricey, these investments pay off by minimizing storm destruction and protecting what matters most – your family. Even if you can only tackle a few projects, every bit of preparation reduces your weather risk and gives peace of mind.

FAQ

Should I replace my historic or antique roof after a storm?2023-09-18T13:19:42+00:00

Consult with roofing specialists experienced in historical restoration before replacing an antique roof. Often repairs, selective replacement of damaged areas, and added structural supports can preserve the roof’s integrity and historical design.,

How Do I Prepare my Pool for a Storm?2023-09-18T13:18:52+00:00

Prepare a pool for storms by lowering the water level, chemically treating the water, and shutting down electrical equipment. Install a pool cover tightly secured by water tubes or weights. Remove deck furniture and secure chemicals, pumps, and filters.,

How do I prepare my dock or boat for a storm?2023-09-18T13:18:16+00:00

 To prepare a dock for storms, secure all loose items and equipment, install extra dock lines and anchors, attach flotation devices, and ensure electrical lines and equipment are unplugged and protected from surges.

Should I cover stained glass windows during a storm?2023-09-18T13:17:27+00:00

Yes, protect stained glass windows during storms by covering them with plywood panels screwed into the window framing. Use closed cell foam weatherstripping to seal the edges before storm winds arise.,

How can I keep my basement dry during a hurricane?2023-08-30T13:28:51+00:00

Installing a sump pump, sealing the walls, adding flood vents, and installing a French drain system around your home will all help keep water out of your basement when heavy rains hit.

What are the best hurricane-resistant roof types?2023-08-30T13:28:37+00:00

Metal, clay tile, and impact-rated asphalt shingle roofs perform best in high winds. Lightweight metal allows wind to pass through, reducing uplift forces.

What are the most critical hurricane preparations for a home?2023-08-30T13:28:06+00:00

Reinforcing the roof, securing windows/doors, bracing the foundation, and controlling water flow are job one. Doing these things helps prevent total structural failure when a big storm hits.

How much does it cost to hurricane-proof an average home?2023-08-30T13:27:22+00:00

Total price varies a lot based on which upgrades you pick. But plan on at least $10K-$20K to tackle the essentials like roof bracing, storm windows, and waterproofing.

Published On: August 30th, 2023 / Categories: Connecticut, CT, Home Improvement Contractor, Home Remodeling /

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