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All of these projects will help protect your home and belongings from wind damage.

Wind damage refers to the destruction or harm caused by the force and intensity of strong winds. When powerful winds occur during storms or severe weather events, they can result in various types of damage to structures, vegetation, and infrastructure.

On this page, you will find valuable insights and strategies to help you protect your home and ensure the safety of your loved ones. From reinforcing your roof and securing windows to trimming trees and creating an evacuation plan, you’ll find a range of free to low-cost measures to minimize wind damage and enhance your overall resilience below:

Trim Overhanging Trees

Inspect the trees around your property and trim any overhanging branches that could potentially break during high winds. This simple task reduces the risk of trees falling on your house or causing damage to windows, fences, or power lines.

Safeguard Outdoor Items

Ensure that any loose outdoor items, such as patio furniture, gardening tools, or toys, are properly stored or anchored. These items can become dangerous projectiles in strong winds, causing damage to your home or neighboring properties.

Reinforce Garage Doors

Garage doors are vulnerable to wind damage due to their large surface area. Strengthen them by installing a bracing kit or reinforcing the existing door with horizontal wooden or metal beams. This precautionary measure can prevent the garage door from buckling or collapsing during severe storms.

Reinforce Entry Doors

Similar to garage doors, entry doors can be susceptible to wind damage. Reinforce them by installing a heavy-duty deadbolt lock and using longer screws in the strike plate. Additionally, consider installing a door sweep to prevent drafts and minimize the risk of wind-driven rain entering your home.

Install Derecho Shutters

Invest in derecho shutters for windows and glass doors. These shutters are designed to withstand strong winds and flying debris, providing an extra layer of protection. Alternatively, consider using plywood panels cut to fit the size of your windows as a cost-effective temporary solution. Learn more about installing derecho shutters here.

Seal Openings and Cracks

Inspect your home for any gaps, cracks, or openings that may allow wind or water to enter. Use weatherstripping, caulk, or expandable foam to seal these areas. Pay special attention to areas around windows, doors, vents, and utility penetrations.

Weatherstripping is used to seal air leaks around movable building components, such as doors or operable windows while caulk is the appropriate material for filling cracks and gaps for stationary components.

Reinforce Roof Anchors

Ensure that your roof is properly anchored to the structure of your home. Strong winds can easily lift or damage roofs, resulting in significant damage. Reinforce the roof’s connections by adding derecho straps or clips to securely fasten the roof to the walls. Derecho straps, also referred to as derecho clips, ties, anchors, connectors, or brackets, serve as specialized fasteners designed to securely connect the roof to the wall structure. This crucial attachment effectively anchors the roof to the foundation of the house, significantly reducing the risk of strong winds lifting it and leaving the occupants without a protective roof overhead.

These straps are typically crafted from galvanized or stainless steel materials, ensuring durability and resistance to corrosion. In contemporary building practices, they are mandatory in regions frequently affected by derechos, where high wind speeds exceeding 74 mph are common occurrences.

Clear Gutters and Downspouts

Regularly clean and maintain your gutters and downspouts to prevent clogging. Blockages can lead to water buildup, which increases the risk of roof damage and flooding during heavy rains. Ensure that water flows freely away from your home’s foundation.

Strengthen Fences

If you have fences on your property, reinforce them to withstand high winds. Use sturdy posts and consider adding diagonal bracing or windbreaks to reduce the pressure on the fence panels. Regularly inspect and repair any damaged or weakened sections.

Educate Yourself and Family Members

One of the most cost-effective measures is to educate yourself and your family about proper safety procedures during severe weather events. Create an emergency plan, establish a safe room, and ensure everyone knows how to respond in case of a windstorm or tornado warning.

Insurance in Disaster Renovations

Insurance plays a vital role in disaster renovations by providing financial protection and peace of mind to homeowners, renters, businesses, and communities affected by natural or man-made disasters. When a disaster strikes, such as a fire, flood, earthquake, or severe storm, the damage can be extensive and require significant repairs or even complete reconstruction. Insurance coverage for disaster renovations helps individuals and organizations mitigate the financial burden associated with rebuilding and restoring their properties. Find out more about insurance here.

Find a Qualified Contractor

Finding legitimate contractors is of utmost importance when it comes to disaster renovations. After a disaster, individuals and businesses are often in a vulnerable state, seeking immediate repairs and restoration. However, it is crucial to exercise caution and ensure that the contractors hired for the job are reputable and trustworthy. Here are some warning signs to look out for:

Lacks proper license and insurance: All reputable contractors should be insured and able to provide proof of insurance. While not all states require licensing, contractors in states with licensing requirements should possess a valid license and be able to furnish a copy.

Demands cash or full payment upfront: Dishonest contractors may insist on cash payments and then disappear with the money. Many homeowners have been left stranded after paying in full upfront. While a deposit for materials is common, only make the payment once you have a contract signed by both parties. Be suspicious if you are asked to pay cash to a salesperson instead of writing a check or money order to a legitimate company.

Requests signing documents before hiring: If a contractor asks you to sign an “estimate” or “authorization” before you hire them, be cautious. This could indicate an attempt to bind you to a contract prematurely.

Requires homeowners to obtain permits: Professional contractors handle the process of obtaining building or remodeling permits themselves by visiting the appropriate county or state offices. If a contractor asks you, as the homeowner, to obtain permits, it could be a sign of their illegitimacy.

Fails to provide written contracts: Professional contractors have clear and comprehensive contracts that outline the project details, processes, costs, and dispute resolution procedures. Without a contract, you are left vulnerable if issues arise. Avoid hiring anyone who claims that a contract is unnecessary.

Substantially underbids other contractors: While a low price may seem appealing, it does not guarantee quality work. Contractors who significantly undercut their competitors may compromise on materials or workmanship, leading to additional expenses when subpar work needs to be redone.

Offers “special” pricing or urgent contract signing: If you are approached with claims of being selected as a special project at a reduced price or pressured to sign a contract immediately to secure a low price, exercise caution.

Unable to provide customer references: Professional contractors should be able to furnish current and past client references that you can contact directly for verification. Beware if they only provide an answering machine or fail to provide any references at all.

Difficult to reach or lacks a physical presence: Legitimate contractors have physical offices, mailing addresses, and reachable phone and email contacts. They should respond promptly to your inquiries. Ensure that you can verify the contractor’s business address, and be wary if they only provide a P.O. box.

To ensure you make the best choice, take your time, do thorough research, and choose a contractor you feel comfortable with. Check their license on the state website, inquire about consumer complaints at the local Better Business Bureau or contact the home builders association for reputable options,

Protecting your home from wind damage is essential in ensuring the safety and integrity of your property. By implementing the preventative tips and strategies discussed on this page, such as strengthening your roof, reinforcing windows and doors, and securing outdoor structures, you can significantly reduce the risk of wind-related harm. Remember to regularly maintain your home, stay informed about weather forecasts, and follow local guidelines during severe weather events. With these proactive measures, you can fortify your home against potential wind damage. Stay safe and resilient in the face of windy challenges!

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