While the 02568 National Hurricane Center projects storms during the 2006 hurricane season will mirror the intensity of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the U.S., and one which caused more than $50 billion in damages to the Gulf Coast region, there are measures homeowners can take to better prepare their new-construction homes during the building phase.
The National Weather Service (NWS), the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings in the U.S.,02535 recommends homeowners verify that their homes meet current building code requirements for high winds, one of the many components associated with vicious Category 3+ hurricanes. The NWS says structures built to meet or exceed current building code high-wind provisions have a much better chance of surviving violent windstorms.
"Florida has some of the most stringent building codes in the U.S., led by 02562, Miami Dade County in South Florida," says Dr. Ronald Zollo, professor of civil and architectural engineering at the University of Miami and a licensed professional engineer. "Homeowners and builders need to move away from the traditional structures that cannot withstand the type of lateral forces that extreme weather, such as hurricanes, can place on a home."
Another concern for homeowners is flooding. Common with hurricanes, flooding can lead to extensive mold and structural damage. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) states that more than half of the nation's population lives and works within 50 miles of a coast, areas typically more prone to hurricane flooding.
Preparing For The Future 02537
Dr. Zollo encourages prospective new homeowners to think proactively. He urges those considering a new home purchase or a rebuild in coastal regions to talk with their builder or architects to understand local building codes and the effects of hurricane-force winds on their homes.
Dr. Zollo led a team from the University of Miami to survey damage from 1992's Hurricane Andrew in Florida. He believes that concrete materials, by virtue of their mass, rigidity and physical properties, are generally expected to outperform other construction materials when subjected to extreme environmental conditions, if constructed according to proper building codes.
A proven solution to reduce the structural damage from hurricanes is installing insulating concrete forms (ICFs)-hollow foam forms or panels that hold concrete in place.
"Homes built with ICFs using reinforced concrete provide homeowners with sustainable structures capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions," says Dr. Zollo. "They're easier to clean up after hurricane weather or flooding, and they provide the homeowner with moisture resistance in the walls themselves when combined with appropriate interior finishes. Those utilizing ICFs can also expect greater energy efficiency due to added thermal protection."
Owens Corning, a leader in building science technologies, produces the 02553, ICF option Fold-Form®. Solid concrete-reinforced walls built with Fold-Form® have been proven to provide superior protection against flying debris from winds as high as 200 miles per hour, when compared to conventional framed walls or hollow concrete block walls. By comparison, 02539 FEMA states that Hurricane Katrina achieved landfall wind speeds of 140 mph in southeast Louisiana.
According to Dr. Zollo, "In the future, I think we'll see faster recovery times for communities built with 02540, ICFs than those that are built without."
"While ICFs meet some of the U.S.'s most strict building codes and are up to nine times stronger than traditional wood frames, they're not just for hurricane protection," says Janet Albright, accessories manager, Residential & Commercial Insulation for Owens Corning. "We're seeing a dramatic increase in consumer demand throughout the entire U.S. for building products that are greener, offer greater energy efficiencies, air and moisture management and contribute to greater comfort levels by reducing noise in the home."
Hurricane Shutters are something very serious these days, if you read the news recently you probably know that the world climate is changing,02632, as a result we are expecting more tropical storms in our region in the next few years, and the forecast for the hurricane shutters is that its going to be a much needed tool to protect your home.
A hurricane shutter is most common in the Southern states that often see bad weather a couple of months during the 02636, year. If you do not have these, you will risk a lot of damage to your house. Today more and more people are looking into buying hurricane shutters as a result of the last year storms and because some insurance companies has started recommending the use of hurricane shutters.
Hurricane or “storm panel” shutters are often constructed out of a solid steel or aluminum frame and provide protection superior to that of Bahamas, Colonial, wooden, or vinyl shutters. This shutter is also considerably less expensive 02635, than decorative shutters. You should think about the exterior of your house because those shutters are considerably less attractive–and you may want to put them in storage at the end of the hurricane season.
The reason that these shutters look less attractive should not deter you from considering them for protection of your home, although these hurricane shutters do not look so nice they can protect your windows, balcony, or storefront from bad weather. During a storm, these areas may be pounded with heavy rain, hail, and wind. If you have a hurricane shutter in place, you do not have to worry about a lot of damage. The great thing about the hurricane shutters is that they also give you some peace of mind while a storm is raging outside 02574 . The hurricane shutters can also help to protect the people inside of your house, and help to protect a little more then material positions. A hurricane shutter will go a long way in ensuring that your windows do not get busted out by bad weather 02543 .
Most hurricane shutters are designed for the use and maintenance of one person up and down operation. One person can operate the hurricane shutters and do it relatively fast so that the chances that you will not be prepared when a storm is on its way it relatively low. A great advantage if a storm sneaks up on you by surprise. This way, all you have to do is pull this shutter down and lock it into position; a simple five second job 02649 . While everyone else is boarding up their windows in the rain, you will be inside your house, protected from the elements.
The advice of most hurricane shutters companies 02534 is to set them up when the hurricane season starts and to take them off for the rest of the year, thus avoiding their looks and enjoying the protection the shutters offer. This is not a joke, and a lot of people use this advice, it makes sense that you want to keep your property protected when its hurricane season and once the danger 02573, 02575 is off to return to your “normal” look.