In order to make your mobile/manufactured home more hurricane-resistant, you must make sure to have a list on hand that you can inspect before any inclement weather reaches your area.
Here is a checklist that you can use to check if you have done everything possible to protect your home against a hurricane:
- Secure Your Home’s Tie-Downs
Tie-downs are straps and anchors that ensure your house stays standing during strong winds, including a hurricane. Your house has an increased risk of overturning or sliding, if your tie-downs are loosely fastened. According to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Act, all manufactured homes MUST be equipped with appropriate tie-downs. Make sure that you get an expert to check on them if you are expecting bad weather ahead!
- Secure All Your Doors, Windows and Vents
One of the most important things to keep in mind during a hurricane is that you want to prevent water and wind from entering your home. Strong winds inside a manufactured home can create pressure, which can literally blow your roof off. Getting hurricane-proof windows is the best solution, though you can protect your windows by yourself.
Secure your windows and doors by installing removable shutters over them – the sturdier the shutter, the higher the protection. The cheapest option would be to use plywood to protect your windows from the outside.
- Reinforce your Roof
Your roof can be carried away in the debris of a hurricane if it’s weak or damaged. Without a roof, your home can get flooded and thus swept away quite easily. Make sure you get your roof checked by an expert every year, and especially during seasons with bad weather.
You can strengthen your roof by doing the following:
- Cement the edge of the shingles with a roofing cement to set them in place
- Nail shingles firmly to the roof
- Strengthen all the roof flashing to minimize the risk of water getting in
- Over-the-top tie-downs can be used to hold the roof firmly in place
- Replace missing shingles and secure them in place
- Sheath Your Roof
Roof sheathing gives your roof an extra layer of protection, and it’s best to have thicker panels for robust sheathing – thick plywood boards for example work extremely well. No matter what material you use, make sure you use fasteners to securely fasten the roof structure to the roof sheathing. Keep in mind that losing a single piece of sheathing can cause your home to sustain substantial damage. A weak connection between your sheaths will allow strong winds to blow your sheathing away quite easily.
- Sheath your walls
Wall sheathing not only adds an extra protective layer to your home’s wall’s exterior, but it also provides support and insulation. You can easily add both structural and non-structural wall sheathings to a manufactured home. Structural wall sheathing will hold the house in place against strong winds – increasing your home’s overall strength and support, while non-structural sheathing serves as insulation – by keeping rain and wind out of your home.
- Strengthen and reinforce any wall joints or cracks
Wall joints refer to the points on your walls that join with the floor and other surfaces. A primary source of water leakage in homes is due to these joints cracking and breaking down, so you must fill them up or repair them as soon as you can! It’s best if you can get an expert to do this, since it does require some manufacturing/construction expertise.
- Remove everything from your front yard, and bring in any outdoor additions
Go around the area surrounding your house (and any common spaces as well) and remove all light or heavy movable objects into your home, or into storage.
Here are some items to look out for:
Potted plants/Gardening equipment
Wind chimes/Outside decorations
BBQ grill and other outdoor cooking materials
Garden ornaments/Fake turf
Large, unpruned trees in the vicinity of your home
Garbage containers near your home
- Secure your HVAC system
Your HVAC system can easily be damaged in a hurricane if you don’t protect it.
You can protect your HVAC system by:
- Strapping it tightly to the platform where it rests
- Draping it with a strong, protective tarp
Make sure that the straps are sturdy enough to hold your HVAC system against the strongest hurricane winds.
- Secure the interior of your home
A hurricane can cause just as much damage to the interior of your home, as it can the exterior. Water and wind could get into the house even if you take every precaution possible. Secure cupboards, doors, cabinets, drawers, desks and more, by using strong child locks. Store all your electronics like the TV, laptops, tablets, any glass objects, cookware, decorations and such, in secure places!
- Reinforce the siding of your home
Any damage, significant or otherwise, to your mobile home’s siding can prove catastrophic, as it can cause a number of safety issues. The siding gives your insulation an added protective layer, by covering it, so if the siding gets damaged, it can leave your walls and insulation unprotected against the heavy winds of a hurricane. Again, remember to secure the sidings of your home using screws or any strong adhesive materials. If you can afford it, make sure that the siding material is hurricane resistant.