I'm in the process of "protecting" my Florida home against hurricane
winds. This is a new home with a wood/stucco construction. I've been
able to find anchors to put 3/8inch plywood on all the windows. I'm not
sure how much protection this will offer, but it was the best I could
do by myself. I've heard that the garage door is also a weak spot on
the house. Does anyone know what kind of wind a new garage door can
withstand? Mine is a (standard?) metal door with the reinforcing
horizontal metal straps going all the way down. I've seen kits, and
heard ideas from other on reinforcing the garage doors. Is this only
worth it for old or really cheap garage doors? Also, what about the
sliding patio doors? I didn't bother to cut boards and get anchors to
try to protect it any further. I've been told the home has the standard
"hurricane" glass installed on all new homes in Florida. In other words
it is rated to withstand wind pressure. It is NOT shatter resistant.
TIA for any help on this. Ironically, most people don't seem to know
much about it in Florida!
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The idea of the wood or shutters on windows is to protect the glass from
shattering from flying objects. Therefore not lettng wind into the house
and lifting your roof. Definetly protect that sliding glass door.Buy 4
x8 sheets of plywood and run them horizontally. Screw a 2 x 4 on each
long side of the bottom piece and a 2x4 on the bottom of the top sheet..
Cut the top sheet at least 4 inches above the opening. The wood on the
plywood is to preventit from buckling on the long span. Screw them in to
the foundation cement block or whatever your house is made of. You might
need a hamer drill if it is cement. Rent one. Don't get a Ryobi from the
They have some new fasteners out now where you screw it into the wall
you attach a wing nut with washer on it.
Home Depot carries them.
Your best bet and easier is the storm panels . You will get tired of
putting up those darn panels every year. But it is a little late now for
Ernesto. The track is screwed into the sill and top and all you do is
remove panels and use them next year. and track stays in place. They
even have one for your doors where the track folds down so you don't
trip over it.There are a lot of other options too. After this storm is
I have doing this for 40 years with the wood. And been trying to get my
son to install the storm panels. He is in the business and has been so
busy. So I guess it is the wood again this year.
I never think of it on the off season.
So I think that is what I want for xmas.
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Actually when the garage door fails the interior is greatly exposed.
Suggest the OP look at >>
Also google "florida garage door" for other info
Thanks all for the quick replies! After further investigation, it seems
I *might* have what they call a "wind-loaded" door already installed.
In this picture:
they show a non-wind loaded door being bolstered by a metal
reinforcement post that looks a lot like what I have going horizontally
every 2 feet or so down my garage door. The metal and hinging structure
on this door looks a lot tougher than some of the doors I used to see
up North. My door does not look like the cheap one in the picture. It
seems all doors installed in Florida post 2002 are supposed to meet
this code? I found the entire owners manual for the door tucked under
one of the supports ... but still haven't found a sticker indicating
If this is new construction (you said it was a new house) then it has to
meet current codes, which include some level of protection against
hurricanes. The level depends upon the county in which you live, with
Miami-Dade being the most stringent. The company which built the house (if
it's new) should already have given you details about the garage door
specifications -- you can also consult with the door installation company or
go directly to the manufacturer who can give you specifics.
If it's old construction, its level of protection will depend upon the year
it was built, because the codes got stricter after the '91 hurricane and
again after more recent events.
If it's old construction, your primary concern may be the roof, because of
the unknown status of the roof shingles and structure. In the several
hurricanes which have come through our area in the last two years, by far
the most serious damage came from roof damage that let in water, or which
then compromised the structure of the house.
You should probably IMMEDIATELY sign up for the "Safe Florida Home"
initiative. This is $250M program which Gov Bush has signed, providing
grants of up to $5,000 to homeowners to upgrade home safety. It's only been
in existence for a week, and may already be oversubscribed. However, the
very first item in the program is a free home inspection to identify areas
where safety can be improved. You can sign up at www.mysafefloridahome.com.
I live in Florida and recently looked into getting flood insurance
because the lake at the back of my house sometimes overflows onto my lot
(but not the neighboring lots). My agent told me that flood insurance
will only kick in if the houses on both sides of you are affected by the
"flood", so the insurance wouldn't benefit me. Bottom line: you need to
know or be able to guess the flood pattern for your locale.
I don't think that's accurate. Homeowners should look at their survey or
check with their county building office, which can tell you precisely what
flood zone you are in. You and your next door neighbor may not even be in
the same flood zone if one of the two houses is built on a higher pad -- and
the amount of your flood insurance premium will depend upon your precise
flood zone. My one acre lakefront lot is charged a different premium than
my next-door neighbor because of a difference in pad heights which creates a
different flood zone designation.
The fact is that if there is a hurricane and you are flooded, your normal
insurance will not reimburse for the flood damage -- only your flood
insurance pays for that, regardless of what happened to your neighbors.
Most mortgage holders will require that the homeowner carry flood insurance
at certain levels of flood zones. For most in Florida, even on the
Highlands Ridge, it's a good idea. Regards -- JimR
Here's a quote from FloodSmart.gov (the official site of the federal
flood insurance program):
Here's how "flood" is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program:
"A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of
two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties
(at least one of which is the policyholder's property) from:
* Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
* Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from
any source; or
* Mudflow; or
* Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or
similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by
waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that
result in a flood as defined above."
Here's another quote from the FAQ's at the above web site:
Does the NFIP cover flood damage caused by hurricanes, rivers or tidal
Yes, providing that at least two adjacent properties in the area (or two
acres) are flooded.
Bottom line: You won't get any payout from flood insurance unless the
conditions mentioned above are met.
Jean -- the info from your agent may be out-of-date or incorrect. First of
all, the "two adjacent properties" or two acres meant just that -- two
properties, so that would have meant your property and one other abutting
it. Secondly, the "adjacent" has been removed from the insurance contract,
so now the only requirement for a flood is that it cover at least two acres
or two properties, not necessarily adjacent to each other. The Floodsmart
FAQ is out-of-date on that item. This information was confirmed by my flood
coverage carrier. -- Regards, JimR
OK, that's a good joke.
The sad truth is that the program only applies to the insurance industry's
customers, not to those of us who self-insure who are automatically
ineligible. It is basically and insurance industry subsidy, not a
homeowner program. Bah.
You're not limited to the $250K, though. You can buy additional flood
insurance, over and above the federal insurance up to your required limits,
from commercial sources. My insurance company recently sent me information
on how to purchase the additional flood insurance. Regards --
I wish I could -- I threw away the information I received, which was from my
insurance company but gave me the name of the commercial flood insurance
source. If I get anything I'll post it -- Regards --
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