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If you live in an area that is prone to high winds, hurricanes, or tropical storms, you know that those types of events can be devastating but some of the risks can be mitigated if you take proactive steps to protect your home. Below are a few things you can do to help minimize wind and water damage from hurricanes and other storm.

Install metal connectors from the top down

Talk to your contractor about installing metal connectors that tie your home’s roof to wall and walls through the flooring to your home’s foundation. For example, the exterior and roof framing should be constructed with structural panels securely fastened by code-approved hurricane straps and other metal connectors. Properly anchor porches, decks, and other attached structures, as strong winds can lift them away leaving an opening in your home. Use impact and wind-rated materials for roof coverings, exterior siding, doors, windows and skylights. By combining these features, you can make a strong continuous load path for your home to help it resist uplift and damaging wind forces. 


Protect the “envelope” of your home.

The outside or envelope of your home includes siding, roofing, window and doors. Without adequate protection, wind and debris can penetrate those openings, causing pressure within the house to lift up the house or roof and cause structural damage or failure. 

  • Install structural panels on the exterior and roof framing and storm shutters, impact-resistant glass, or other protective measures on all openings. 
  • Don’t forget garage doors, as they can be vulnerable to high winds and, if punctured or destroyed, can allow pressure to build within the house, causing further extensive damage.  Retrofit kits and storm bars are available for garage doors.  
  • While plywood coverings for openings can be better than no protection at all, they should be used as a last resort as they may not provide adequate protection and may not meet building codes in areas where shutters are required.

Talk to local dealers and installers of storm shutters and impact-resistant windows and doors about the most appropriate options for your home.


Make sure the materials you use are rated or approved

For the best protection from high winds or wind-driven rain, look for applicable ratings and standards on the materials you use, including some of the following:

  • Miami-Dade County Product Control Approved
  • Florida Building Code - State of Florida Approved
  • Wind Rating - 130 mph, ASTM D3161 (Class F) or ASTM D7158 (Class G or H)
  • Class A Fire Resistance
  • For windows, exterior doors and skylight openings - ASTM E1996 and E1886 

Take additional steps to prevent damage

If you live in a high-risk flood area, you may want to consider these tips as well: 

  • Ensure your home, HVAC and mechanical systems are properly elevated above your Base Flood Elevation (BFE), with electrical components at least 12 inches above BFE. 
  • Install foundation vents to allow water to flow through the foundation and decrease pressure on basement and crawl space walls. 
  • Install sump pumps and ensure a backup power supply is in place in the event of a power outage. 
  • Use backwater valves to prevent water or sewer backup into the home.