Living in Florida, we get to enjoy the type of weather and landscape most people dream of. We have white sand beaches and palm trees. We can see dolphins jumping around in the water as they play. We can go paddle boarding, boating, or just have a cocktail with an ocean view.
But with the #ILiveWhereYouVacation hashtag also comes the reality that we have a yearly hurricane season. And while the really big ones are few and far between, some of us have experienced three, four, or five during our lifetime.
When you construct or renovate a building, you do it with the expectation that the structure will last for several years, if not decades. In order have the most efficient plans, it’s good to look at construction hacks that will make your structure safer during a hurricane.
- Pay attention to the roof: There are certain shapes that fare better in strong winds. This is the case with hip roofs. A gable one is more common, because they give homes a more traditional look, and they are cheaper when building a home; but in a hurricane prone area, it’s best to invest more on your safety.
- Avoid overhangs: Yes, they provide shade, and depending on the look and feel you’re going for, it might add some southern charm to your structure. But they increase the risk of roof damage to your home or business. In fact, about 90% of homes that are damaged in a hurricane suffer damage to their roofs. So keep this in mind if you want to build or renovate a home or small business in Florida.
- Dome shaped structures: They make look funny, futuristic, or straight out of Star Wars, but they are also sturdy and practical. Constructed properly, they can withstand a category 5 hurricane and flying debris. Think about it: A lot of shelters for evacuated residents are domed shape. This is not a coincidence. Domes spread out the force of high winds, which is essential in preventing it from blowing away during a storm.
- Floors: If you’re using tiles, make sure they’re properly attached. We usually don’t question “Will these tiles withstand 165 mph winds?” but you probably should. The same way Californians should always worry about earthquake proofing their structures as much as possible, we should do the same with hurricanes.
- Windows: This one seems obvious, but look around and see how glaring it is that most homes and businesses don’t seem to have hurricane shutters installed. In Florida, this is almost like having a bathroom with no toilet. Get with the program and protect your property. Irma’s watching.