Shutters can be seen, so they are the ﬁrst things most people think of when protecting their home against high winds. But shuttering windows is only one of the recommended activities. It’s what you can’t see that can make a big difference.
Mitigation is deﬁned as a noun that is the lessening of the force or intensity of something unpleasant. Wind mitigation and nonstructural aspects that prevent or lessen damage caused by high winds that occur with storms.
In Florida, our primary concern is the wind damage caused by hurricanes. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. That means for ﬁve of twelve months of every year, Floridians are at risk for exposure to high winds. Also, it is not unusual to have a hurricane or tropical storm outside of hurricane season.
The ﬁrst step is to have an inspection of your home. Obtaining an inspection generally costs, but is well worth the investment to fully mitigate your home. Activities to mitigate your home are research based recommendations.
Multiple organizations including the Florida Department of Financial Services, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida’s Foundation, Florida Alliance for Safe Homes, and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety all endorse the same research based recommendations and provide resources to inform and assist homeowners. See more information in the Disaster Preparedness Organizations section.
But what is wind mitigation?
What actions or changes constitutes mitigating your home?
The primary damages from hurricanes are wind and water intrusion. Water, as rain directed by varying wind directions, enters homes through gable ends, sofﬁt vents and poorly sealed windows and doors. Once rain enters homes mildew can develop within days. Like water, wind
causes damage by entering the home through poorly sealed openings. Wind damages homes by increasing pressure and causing uplift forces on the roof.