As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East coast of the United States and Canada, she is leaving destruction and property damage in her wake. Although Southern Ontario will not bear the full brunt of Hurricane Sandy, experts estimate 70% of the province will experience the effects, with some areas getting 100km winds and over 50mm of rainfall.
Southern Ontario is not typically a hotbed for super storm activity, but that doesn’t mean homeowners shouldn’t be prepared. High winds (especially wind driven debris) can devastate a home, so storm proofing your windows and doors is the best way to protect your home and family.
When wind driven debris breaches the “envelope” of your home (smashes through windows or doors) it not only causes immediate damage from wind and rain entering your home, it also exerts high pressure inside your home, which in combination of external pressures of wind whipping over your roof can create catastrophic damages (such as your roof ripping off your home). To prevent this from happening, you need to storm proof your windows.
The first thing you can do is install impact resistant windows and doors on your house. Typically an impact resistant window will include impact resistant glass (a thin layer of plastic sandwiched between two layers of special glass), re-enforced frame and strengthened hardware that attaches to your home.
If replacing all your windows is too large a task, you can install impact resistant coverings like shutters. Here in the Toronto area, this might be the most cost effective way to protect your windows and doors from storms.
One of the weakest points on your home is your garage door. Typically, because of the large surface area and generally weak materials, during a storm your Garage door can fail in extremely high winds. Again, two ways to protect against this would be to re-enforce your existing garage door by beefing up the frame from behind, or installing a protective cover on the outside of the door.
The cost of storm proofing your windows and doors might seem significant, but it can save you considerably more money by preventing the destruction of your home and personal belongings. Watch this video to learn a little more about this process and what you can do to protect your home from storm damage (like Hurricane Sandy)