Taking Steps Now to Prevent Home Wind Damage Later

Thinking about high winds conjures up images of Florida’s hurricane season, but the Toledo OH area gets its fair share of damaging winds too. The most extreme cases have to be tornadoes. When things get rough, they have the ability to wreak havoc on homes. Fortunately, there are precaution that can counteract all but the worse case scenarios. Focusing on the following measures can minimize the threat posed by surface winds and even relatively mild tornadoes:

  1. Storm Shutters
  2. Garage Door Reinforcement
  3. Roof Reinforcements
  4. Clear Zone
  5. Eliminate Projectiles

Blue storm shutters open on a new stucco buildingStorm Shutters

Glass is obviously at risk from wind damage. The best method of protecting glass home components like windows and sliding glass doors is the installation of storm shutters.

Garage Door Reinforcement

Sizable garage doors are a common sight in Toledo OH, and all the square footage of surface area on them makes them prime targets for strong winds. One solution is to install a door that’s designed to handle excess amounts of wind pressure. Another approach is to apply reinforcements to existing doors. There are kits to accomplish this but they’ll increase the door’s weight, so door springs will require readjusting afterwards.

reinforced-roofRoof Reinforcements

Wind damage to the roof can have severe ramifications. Roofs, exterior walls, and interior walls form an integrated system with the roof helping to hold the walls in place. If the roof is pulled away from the walls, they can easily collapse. Securing the roof is achieved through several methods. Gable ends are susceptible to wind damage that can push them sideways. Studs positioned in an X pattern on the interior portions of the gable ends can reinforce them against horizontal pressure. Roof trusses can be braced by nailing long studs across several of them. Finally, hurricane straps are used to more securely bind the roof trusses to the walls.

Clear Zones

Trees close to the house provide it with shade, but they can also provide headaches when high winds topple them over. Brittle species like flowering pears are particularly vulnerable, but even mighty oaks can succumb under the right circumstances. It’s easy to underestimate how heavy trees are since most people are familiar with lumber, wooden furniture, and other kiln-dried material. Living trees contain sap that nearly doubles their weight. As distressing as it might be to some plant lovers, it’s best to maintain a tree-free zone around the house the width of the tree’s height.

Eliminating Projectiles

Normally enjoyable outdoor equipment like lawn chairs, picnic tables, and grills can immediately become unpleasant once they’re caught in a stiff breeze and go sailing into a window or wall. With enough speed and mass, these objects can easily create a new unwanted doorway in the living room or elsewhere. The more tedious solution here is to place these items in storage whenever they’re not in use. An alternative is to use straps, clamps, or other hardware to tie them to the ground so they won’t become airborne during a storm.

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