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Can You Hurricane-Proof a Myrtle Beach House?

The short answer is no. With some unprecedented and devastating hurricanes in recent memory, it’s unlikely that anyone can fully “hurricane-proof” a home. It’s unrealistic to make claims that a residential structure near the ocean can withstand all future natural disasters. It’s one of the risks of living where we do, and one of the reasons why we pay higher insurance premiums that cover windstorm, hail, and flooding.

However, there are a number of things you can do to your existing home to prepare your beach house for hurricane force winds and storm surges.

Hurricane Clip the Rafters

If your home doesn’t already have hurricane clips, add these first. Hurricane clips are galvanized, corrosion-resistant connectors that secure the roof rafters to the top plate. They offer some additional security against high winds that threaten to literally blow the roof off. Popular brands like Simpson Strong-Tie come with ratings between 300 and 1500 pounds.

This upgrade to “hurricane-proofing” requires you to buy an retro-fitting kit, and depending on your home, it may involve some installation in an attic’s tight quarters. This is a relatively easy installation for contractors, but if you are particularly handy, this could be a DIY job, and there are certainly many tutorials on the web for do-it-yourselfers.

Upgrade the Roof

A metal roof is much more resistant to hurricane winds and water than a traditional shingled roof. Interlocking metal panels are cut to fit your home’s roof, and the life-expectancy is typically double that of traditional shingles.

Storm-Resistant Windows, or “Impact Glass”

Impact-resistant glass windows aren’t cheap, but they can definitely save you lots of money in water damage. Once a window is broken, hurricane winds have a clear point of entry and room to build dangerous indoor pressure. The solution is high impact-resistant glass. These storm windows are designed for hurricane winds, rain, and hail, and are a routine upgrade easily done by a contractor.

Upgrade Door and Garage to Hurricane-Proof Materials

It doesn’t take much for the wolf to blow down the house made a sticks. Likewise, a wooden front door can be blown in by the hurricane force winds we see on the Grand Strand. A hurricane-proof fiberglass door is designed to look like wood but offer the benefits of high-impact resistance and better protection against the elements. They also will not warp, bend, or scratch like traditional wooden doors.

Additionally, your garage door is an important place to upgrade. Large and with a lot of surface area, it’s important to install a hurricane-grade garage door that is reinforced with steel to protect the interior of your house from wind, water, and debris.

Clean Up the Yard and Outdoor Area

It’s always a good idea to remove items from your yard that might be lifted and thrown by high winds in a hurricane. Bring in your grill, patio furniture, and pick up and loose debris that may be nearby.

You can also prepare your outdoor HVAC for the storm as well by cleaning the area around it or adding hurricane tie-downs.

Prepare for Long-Term Power Outages

Often the power is out for a longtime after the storm has left. Coupled with flooded roads and down lines, you may be stuck in your Myrtle Beach house without power for quite a while.

A residential generator is a permanently installed system that ties directly to fuel lines and the main power box for your home. It automatically detects power disruption and switches from utility power to generator power. A residential generator allows homeowners to have full, whole-house power including HVAC, appliances, lights, and outlets.

Always Prepare and Evacuate if Needed

Most importantly, always prepare for the worst. Ready.gov is a great resource for preparedness kits, check lists, and other resources. If you are remaining in your home, have emergency supplies, water, batteries, first aid, etc. If you are asked to evacuate under state or federal orders, please do so.

Take Care of Post-Storm Cleanup

South Carolina saw a lot of home damage after Hurricane Matthew. While hurricane-proof upgrades can reduce the risk of residential damage, nothing is guaranteed. After the hurricane has safely passed, it is time to begin the cleanup process. Assessing damage, dealing with insurance, and working to make sure your home is safe to live in again can be frustrating, especially if you’ve incurred damages that make living in your home an impossibility.

It is important that if your home has seen flooding or water damage that you work with a professional service like MasterTech of Myrtle Beach who are licensed for water damage restoration and mold removal, as well as a professional electrician like Cooper Mechanical Services who can inspect your home’s electrical system.

DO NOT enter a home that has standing water in it without the clearance from an electrical inspector or public safety official. If your power has not been disconnected fully, you may be wading in to a fatal situation.

Learn More with Odom Design

For more information about hurricane-proof upgrades, or to learn more about weather-resistant upgrades for your home, contact Odom Design today.