Build and Reconstruct for Safety

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Here are some of the areas that you should pay special attention when building, reconstructing or retro-fitting your home:

  • Doors and Windows
    • Inspect doors to make sure they are in good condition. Add extra locks or slide bolts to inward swinging doors. French doors and double doors are especially vulnerable.
    • Inspect windows and shutters making sure they are in working condition. Put up all of your shutters to make sure they fit and that you have all the bolts or clips.
  • Garage doors
    • Protect garage doors with hurricane panels, or reinforce the door from the inside with wood studs or metal braces attached lengthwise. Also, make sure that the grooved runners in which the door wheels travel are firmly attached to the wall.
  • Roof tiles and shingles
    • Repair cracked or missing roof tiles or loose asphalt shingles.
  • Roof edges
    • Inspect boards along roof edges and gables for signs of decay caused by leaks. Replace any decaying boards which are usually darker than surrounding boards.
  • Trusses and beams
    • Trusses are the triangular support structure for roofs and ceilings. Repair or replace trusses or beams having cracks, large knots, and insect damage. To make temporary repairs nail 8 foot long (or longer) 2" by 4" on both sides of the damaged truss.
  • Nails and plywood
    • Resin coated nails should be used at 6 inch intervals to attach plywood to trusses. Poorly attached plywood is likely to blow off under hurricane conditions exposing the attic and house interior to further damage.
  • Hurricane straps
    • These metal straps hold the roof frame to the walls of your house. They are found on the edges of the trusses where the trusses meet the wall. Look for loose, rusting or missing straps.
  • Gable ends
    • The upright, triangular end of the roof. Brace wood gable ends. Connect 2"x6"s or 2"x4"s to trusses and roof beams to provide better strength against winds.

Last Updated: 2010-08-15