Foundation, Concrete and Earthquake Engineering

How to Avoid Hurricane Damage?

Once an impending hurricane hits, there often is little that can be done. Luckily, there are preventative measures that you can take to protect your property against wind and water damage.

These steps range from those best left to professionals to those for do-it-yourselfers.

Before making structural changes to your property, check local building codes and keep in mind that not all homes require the same degree of storm protection. For example, areas with a high likelihood of hurricanes and other strong storms may benefit greatly from “hurricane straps,” while this may not be an advisable investment for other property owners.

Check with your local American Red Cross or other emergency management offices for information on the area’s flood elevation, which can help you determine how much water is likely to flow into your property.

Hurricane Proof Roofs
Also, remember that homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, so it is important to purchase flood insurance. Note: It will be 30 days before the policy takes effect, so don’t wait until the storm warning appears.

Securing the Roof

High winds can cause your roofing structure to fail, if the sheathing is not properly installed.

Roofs are designed to transfer the force of high winds down to the foundation. If the roof sheathing is not nailed into the rafters or trusses of your roofing structure, then it can fail to perform as designed.

Winds from Hurricane Wilma Destroy windows in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2005
From the attic, examine the roofing boards for proper installation. When replacing your roof, make sure that the sheathing complies with the latest industry standards.

Check for proper bracing of your roof’s gables, the upper portion of a sidewall that comes to a triangular point at the ridge of a sloping roof. From inside the attic space, you should see X-shaped supports in these areas. If these supports are not in place, be sure to hire a contractor to brace them properly.
Impact Resistant Glass
Hurricane straps, which are galvanized metal braces that keep the roof securely fastened to the walls of a home or building, are advised for properties in areas with a high hurricane risk. Installing braces should be left to a licensed professional.

Securing Windows and Doors 

Your property’s windows and doors must be properly braced to withstand the high winds of hurricanes, because, if breached, the resulting high pressure can cause serious damage to your walls and roofing structure. 

Protect your property’s vulnerable openings with storm shutters. They can be purchased for exposed windows, skylights, doors and other glass surfaces. They are available in steel, wood or aluminum. Their protection benefit can be mimicked with plywood. 

Also most bolts that come with your doors are not capable of withstanding the high winds associated with hurricanes. Reinforcing bolts to secure your doors to the top and bottom frame will ensure that your doors will be able to handle the storm.
Hurricane Katrina Destroyed roof of the Louisiana Superdome
While no amount of preparation can prevent all wind damage, you can count on the professionals at storm damage restoration Delaware to restore your property. 

Protecting Home Systems from Flooding 

Your electrical system can be ravaged by flooding. To minimize and prevent damage to this vital system, make sure that the main electrical panel board and all electrical outlets and switches are located at least 12 inches above the flood elevation for your area. If not, consider elevating all wire and service lines 12 inches above the flood elevation, but be sure that all electrical wiring is done be a licensed electrician. 

Electrical service terminal boxes were ripped from the wall in the high winds
Electrically run units, such as washers, dryers, furnaces and water heaters, should be moved to a higher level or elevated at least 12 inches above the flood elevation, if possible. A base of concrete or pressure treated lumber that can hold the weight may be used to elevate the units. Consider building a flood wall around these units, if they cannot be relocated. 

To prevent floating and potential spills, anchor fuel tanks to the floor and be sure that vents and openings are above projected flood elevation. 

To protect your floor drain, install a float plug and a licensed plumber should put in a backflow valve to prevent sewage back up. 

Even after taking preventative measures to protect against flooding, water damage can result. When this happens, its best to call in the experts at flood damage restoration Delaware to remediate the situation.


  1. Hi all,

    Once an impending hurricane hits, there often is little that can be done. There are preventative measures that you can take to protect your property against wind and water damage. Thanks for posting the helpful information.

  2. I must agree that it is very useful and helpful information provided. I'd like to add that there are alot of technologies, which facilitate the protection from hurricane damage like universal shutters, resistant screen systems, hurricane lockdown system, hurricane resistant window. etc.