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Building a Hurricane-Proof Home

Florida is prone to hurricanes. Fortunately for us Floridians who live in a hurricane zone, there are ways to protect your home from hurricane damage. Some improvements are as simple as pruning trees and cleaning gutters. Other changes may cost an extra thousand dollars; but are worth every penny.

1. Install a metal roof

With constant exposure to wind, rain and other outside forces, a home’s roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of the house. And if you live in an environment prone to hurricane-force winds, you can expect your roof to take a beating.

Fortunately, there is a material that can withstand a hurricane’s wind speeds and heavy rain: metal. Metal roofing is outfitted in interlocking panels to provide unique strength and security. This type of roofing can also resist winds of up to 140-mph, and can last 35-50 years, which is more than double the lifespan of traditional asphalt shingle roofs.

2. Install impact windows

Impact windows are made of impact-resistant glass which is installed into the window frame. The glass is built to keep heavy rain, hail, hurricane-force winds and flying objects from shattering your windows. A broken window provides a point of entry for wind, which enters the house, increases pressure, and seeks another way out. Given that they are particularly difficult to break, impact windows will keep potential burglars at bay as well.

3. Replace wood doors with Fiberglass doors

In addition to windows, make sure your exterior doors are impact-resistant. When a hurricane rolls through, debris goes flying through the air. It only takes one item flying at hurricane-force winds to knock the average front door down. Once its knocked open, more wind, debris and water can enter the home. This can result in significant structural damage from increased pressurization, as well as flooding from the excess water.

To avoid these disasters, take precautions by installing hurricane-proof doors. Hurricane-proof doors are typically made of Fiberglass. They are built tougher than an average door and can be made to look like wood.

4. Install a metal garage door

According to CNN, 80 percent of hurricane damage starts with wind entry through garage doors. Lightweight garage doors are susceptible to wind and flooding. FEMA identified "loss of garage doors" as one of the major factors contributing to hurricane storm damage in homes.

In Florida, it is important that your garage doors are designed to combat a hurricane’s force. Most hurricane-proof garage doors are made of steel. Many also come with add-on reinforcement posts. The posts will keep the garage door in place in the event of hurricane force winds.

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