Florida homeowners are no strangers to hurricanes, tornados and other natural disasters that produce harsh winds and flooding. Luckily, because of this, the right home builder should know how to hurricane-proof your house— but don’t assume they’ll always do it to the highest standard without checking.
Whether you’re building a new home or shopping for a used gem, ensure you look out for these important safety features:
Category 1 hurricanes often pack enough of a punch to rip off roof paneling, siding shingles or your gutters— and unfortunate instance that’s thankfully an easy fix. The wicked winds of Category 3 and above hurricanes, however, can cause damage to the actual structure of your home. Gusts can rush through smashed windows or gaps from ripped off doors and blow out retaining walls.
In order to protect against these types of storms, southwest Florida home builders usually use concrete blocks. The blocks are laids to height and affixed with mortar. Then, the top wall is filled with more concrete to hold the structure together. Or, a double-walled concrete panel system is installed instead. Learn more about how concrete support systems are designed here.
Hurricanes can hurl heavy objects and debris at windows at insane speeds, oftentimes, at over 100 mph! Because of this, Florida law requires homebuilders to install special impact windows.
This glass is designed to stick to an adhesive when broken to avoid shattering on your floor. The structure and glass itself also undergo rigorous testing to guarantee its strength and resistance. This includes boasting superior framing, extra thick glass and more to meet Miami-Dade hurricane building code compliance. Learn more about tempered glass and impact-resistant windows here.
Your home may also benefit from hurricane-safe doors or impact-resistant garage doors, which have special aluminium or fiberglass construction and reinforced hinges, hardware and rail systems.
Homes built in Florida need to be especially mindful of moisture control; the sunshine state is a very humid area, especially for those living near bodies of water. Waterfront properties are often subject to flooding and erosion, and when purchasing one, you must be mindful of a few things, such as the elevation of the land, site drainage, plumbing systems and more.
Water damage can cause mold, odor, warping and more. During the building process or after, there are a number of things you can do to maintain proper moisture control— so make sure your home passes all the tests. Check out these tips from the EPA on choosing moisture-tolerant materials and designing to prevent condensation. Here’s a link to Florida’s Residential Building Code guidelines, which addresses roof drainage, specifically.
Nasty winds and storms can tear off sections of or entire roofs of homes with poor reinforcements. Fortunately, if parts of the roof are not adequately connected to the home’s frame, an inspector will be able to see this and make any necessary fixes or anchorages to secure it.
In Florida, all roofs must be built to withstand up to 146-mph winds. Builders often use metal ties and strapping to reinforce roofs, but be cautious during a build or repair. Your contractor needs to obtain a roofing permit before proceeding with any alterations or construction.
A hurricane can more easily hurl large trees or landscaping decor at your home if you have bulky or heavy features. With Florida’s weather, we caution homeowners to consider their outdoor environment. While a towering palm next to your window might sound nice, it could be a hazard during a violent storm.
Instead, consider smaller, storm resistant trees and plants. Check out our article for insights on the best landscaping tips for your Florida home.
Our Hurricane-Safe Florida Homes
No matter how much you prepare, disaster can still strike. That’s why we strongly encourage those in Florida to obtain flood insurance, to protect against hurricane damage.
In the market for a new home in Cape Coral? We can help to ensure you find a hurricane-proof home, from top to bottom. Discover what makes us different and why people from all across the state trust us for their house construction.
Give us a call at 239-424-9995 and start building your dream home with SC Homes.