Hurricanes are one of the most formidable forces of nature. It holds tremendous power and an average home or office stands no chance against it. Every year, a major hurricane arrives and destroys numerous buildings all over the states. Only structurally sound buildings survive hurricanes.
Modern technology has made it a lot easier to save human lives but saving your house in a hurricane is still not an easy affair. There are a lot of things that go into making your house hurricane proof. And looking for some quick and cheap solution is not one of them.
Here are five ways you can build buildings that survive hurricanes-
Strong Building Envelope
It is the arrangement of engineering and architectural elements comprising of the ventilation, structural, temperature control systems. They come together to form one cohesive system. In other words, it is the exterior structure of a building which protects it from the external forces like weather and other natural elements.
It is the first line of defense against any natural force and not just hurricanes. The choice of materials, installation techniques, and inspection is an important thing to consider when you want to build hurricane proof structures. You should ask your contractor to supply and use only those products which are rated for hurricane protection.
Materials that Matter
Even today, most major residential projects are dependent on traditional timber construction. There are better alternatives and one of them is reinforced concrete. Wood does not stand against hurricanes and tornadoes like reinforced concrete.
Unlike wood-framed homes, tests have shown that reinforced concrete house frames can withstand wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour, which would easily level a wood-framed home. Not just walls, you should also consider aluminum windows and other strong metals, when your building is prone to strong winds.
The connection is the Key
It is not always possible to rebuild a house from the beginning. Repairs and reinforcement is the only way. Many structural engineering forensic experts agree on the fact that loose or less than adequate connections between structural components is the key point of failure.
The roof, windows, garage doors, or any other component that is fixed to the mainframe, should be bolted down with proper fasteners. You can even bolt down the whole house with cable-tites that can hold upwards of 6000 pounds.
Plan your Doors and Windows
When focussing on the big things, it is easy to forget the small details. Windows and doors are one of the weakest points in a building envelope. If your area is prone to regular hurricanes or strong winds, it is advisable to go for specially certified storm or hurricane proof products.
Take Expert Help and Opinion
When everything fails, it is always recommended to take the assistance of experts. These experts can be hurricane housing experts, structural engineers or the architect. They have all the knowledge of the things and planning required for constructing a building that is hurricane proof. Proper planning along with regular follow up of the building after every hit should be your top priority.