Fortified Homes: How To Make Your Home More Resistant To Weather


Fortified homes, a concept coming to prominence through the FORTIFIED Home Program initiated by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, is a way that you can retrofit your home against violent acts of nature.

According to a recent post from our friends at Nationwide, there are a few key areas where you need to focus your time and attention if choosing to go this route.

(And if your home is at risk, you really should consider it. Weather patterns and events can be unruly and unpredictable, and if your home is outdated in any of these areas, then it could be a costly, and even tragic, mistake.)

But First, What Is A Fortified Home Vs. A Conventional Home

According to the FORTIFIED Home Program, fortified homes include an “intensive inspection by an independent, third-party, certified evaluator who puts together a comprehensive evaluation report once the inspection is complete.”

This report will contain verified information on your home’s current disaster resistance, materials and methods used during construction — information not generally made available for homes that are not fortified.

Where Are Homes Vulnerable?

Homes are typically at their most vulnerable with the type of roofing used. While we’ll let you read about the rest through the FORTIFIED Home Web Page, here’s a breakdown of the conventional home roof versus the fortified.

Conventional Roofs Vs. Fortified Roofs

C: Many homes have multiple layers of finished roofing.

F: Remove roof cover to conduct a thorough inspection. Only one layer of finished roofing is permitted.

The Benefit: Improves the connection between the roof deck and the roof structure.

C: Roofs with damage in certain areas may be fixed with materials that are thinner and weaker.

F: Damaged sections are replaced with materials that are equal in thickness.

The Benefit: Replacing damaged sections provides a durable nailing surface and keeps the home safe from wind & rain.

C: Older building codes only require staples and the minimum size smooth nails, which can be spaced unevenly – reducing the roof’s resistance to wind.

F: Roof deck is secured with 8d ring shank nails that are spaced evenly from the center.

The Benefit: This helps to keep the deck in place and keep water from seeping through.

C: May lack outlooker connections at the top of the gable end wall or the wall might not be sheathed, making the roof more prone to damage.

F: Anchor gable end outlookers. Gable end walls are sheathed with wood structural panels.

The Benefit: Better secures the overhang at the gable end of a house. Sheathing also provides additional strength.

C: There may be gaps between pieces of decking, allowing water to pour into the attic if the cover blows off.

F: Roof deck is sealed without any open seams or gaps.

The Benefit: Keeps water from entering the house in the event the roof is lost or damaged.

For the rest of the benefits of fortified roofs over conventional, be sure to check out the Nationwide post.

In Summary

Innovations in the field of home construction are being made all the time, and with a greater resistance toward dangerous weather patterns and natural disasters. While these innovations may not be able to save your home from destruction, they can give you a better chance of withstanding nature’s unpredictability, and they can also make your home easier and cheaper to insure. No matter how old your home is, consider getting a fortified home inspection. You can learn a lot about its safety and perhaps even take life-saving steps for the good of you and your family.

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

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