Reinforcement tips

By Times Staff
Published April 17, 2005

The Institute for Business and Home Safety in Tampa offers this checklist of things homeowners can do in the off-season to make their homes more hurricane-worthy.

IBHS offers free single copies of two booklets, "Is Your Home Protected from Hurricane Disaster? A Homeowner's Guide to Hurricane Retrofit" available in English and Spanish and "Protect Your Home Against Hurricane Damage." Request either booklet by calling IBHS toll-free at 1-866-657-4247. Or download the booklets at www.ibhs.org (under "Property Protection" on the home page, click on "Hurricane.") The booklets give detailed technical advice for performing several of the tasks suggested in this checklist:

--Reinforce your garage door to withstand strong winds.

--Glue your roof down: From inside the attic, apply construction-grade glue along the joints where the sheathing rests on the rafters or truss.

-- If you are replacing your roof, have your roofer remove all layers down to the wood sheathing. Make sure rafters and trusses are securely connected to the walls. Refasten the existing wood sheathing according to building-code requirements for high-wind regions. Use heavy felt roofing paper, secured with sufficient fasteners, to increase protection from water damage. Install a covering (shingles, tiles) designed to resist high winds.

--Install impact-resistant windows or acquire shutters. If you choose plywood, buy it now, cut it to size, drill holes and have fasteners on hand.

--Replace gravel or rock landscaping material with shredded bark. The stones can become missiles in high wind.

--Reinforce double-entry doors with heavy-duty foot and head bolts.

--Make sure that screened porches and carports are properly attached to the house.

--If your house has gable ends, brace them with anchored beams perpendicular to the truss.