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How to Protect Your Home from Wind Damage

Here in Southeast Wisconsin we’re lucky not to be suffering so badly from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated much of the East Coast yesterday. However, even from hundreds of miles away we are getting a bit of an impact from the storm, in the shape of very strong winds with gusts up to 45 mph!

While it may be a little too late to protect your home from today’s high winds, you can take certain precautions to save your home from major wind damage in the future. Here are some tips to help protect your home from a wind storm:

  • Make sure your roof’s sheathing (the underlying boards, plywood, or metal that provides structural surface for your roof) has been securely installed to at least minimal code requirements.
  • Check to ensure your roof’s gable ends are securely connected to the rest of the roofing structure.
  • Inspect to make sure your garage door has been properly installed and secured. If the garage door fails, winds can enter your home and blow out doors, windows, walls and the roof.
  • Maximize window protection by outfitting all windows with durable storm shutters.
  • You may think large trees would be a big no-no in wind protection around the home, but properly selected landscaping can provide excellent wind protection. Evergreen trees and shrubs planted to the north and northwest of your home are great windbreaks – just make sure these windbreaks are planted at a distance from your house about two-to-five times the height of the trees at maturity.
  • Prevent landscaping damage by monitoring broken branches. Cut any large broken branches all the way back to the main branch. If you’ve got room, plant species that can withstand strong winds, such as dogwoods, hickory, ashes, most maples, oaks, sycamores and virtually all evergreens.


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