Industry Knowledge

Building Features that Reduce Wind Damage

Building features that reduce wind damage during hurricanes.

By

Carlos A. Paesano

on

January 28, 2021

Homeowners should be aware of several building features which reduce wind damage during storms. Some of these features include the following:

  • Hurricane clips and straps that hold the roof structure to the walls (shown in the picture).
  • Roof coverings that meet FBC requirements.
  • Exterior opening protection against wind-borne debris. For example, hurricane shutters, impact-resistant windows and doors.
  • Secondary water resistance systems.

In order to find out which of these wind-resistive construction features a property has, homeowners can hire a home inspection service company to field verify those features. These inspections take between 45 to 90 minutes depending on accessibility to home attics. Now, recently built homes are more probable to have some or all of the features described above. For example, homes built in Miami-Dade and Broward counties after 1994 are more likely to comply to have these features. For the rest of Florida, houses built after March 1st, 2002 needed to comply with the Florida Building Code which demanded these features.

Please keep in mind that insurance companies offer windstorm premium discounts to structures that have wind-resistive construction features. The above mentioned items are the most frequently checked for. However, it is not an inclusive list. The most obvious deficiency is the lack of protection of windows and doors against hurricanes. Hurricane shutters were the most popular method of protection in the 90's and early 00's. Today, installing hurricane impact windows is the most sought after mitigation method for a number of reasons.

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