With the number of hurricanes the coast has faced over the past several months, it leaves many people along the coast wondering if their home is hurricane proof. When it comes to having a hurricane ready deck, you don’t want to take any chances. Choosing Hardwood Decking will no doubt give your project the added strength it needs to face a severe storm, but having a storm-proof deck doesn't end there. Whether you are about to begin the building process or you’ve had your deck for years, here are some ways to make sure that your hardwood deck is ready to face any storm.
If you’re starting the building process, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure the structure is well anchored in the ground. To do this, we suggest using heavier concrete footings. Mushroom footings, as opposed to standard sonotube footings, are a stronger way to anchor your deck. You may also want to use thicker framing for your deck. Heavy concrete footings and thicker framing is a solid place to start when building a hurricane-proof deck.
Once you have a strong foundation, you’ll want to take extra steps to secure the framing. One common and relatively easy way to do this is with hurricane ties. These metal pieces are often sold at local hardware stores and reduce the chance of any board coming loose or flying away during the high force winds of a hurricane or severe storm. They are inexpensive and we highly recommend installing them if you live in an area susceptible to hurricanes or tornadoes.
After you've secured your foundation, it’s imperative that all of your gutters and irrigation is draining properly. Be sure to keep drains and irrigation channels clean and cleared out so that the heavy amount of water can pass through without causing any flooding around your home or deck. In the long term, excessive water and flooding can cause water damage to your deck and home. If your yard does not have a good irrigation system, we recommend contacting a professional about putting one in place.
If you haven’t already, waterproofing your hardwood deck with a UV Inhibiting sealant is another great way to protect it from the elements of a hurricane or severe storm. It will extend the life of your hardwood decking and help your deck keep its original appearance. If your deck has recently been stained, you don’t need to waterproof your deck as the stain acts as waterproof sealant. If you do decide it's time to apply waterproof sealant, make sure to check the forecast and leave at least 48 hours for it to completely dry.
In the short-term before a heavy storm, you’ll always want to clear deck furniture and loose limbs that surround your deck. This eliminates the potential for a branch or deck chair becoming a hazard when the winds pick up. Also, be sure to prune the trees surrounding your deck, home and fence and remove any dead branches.
When it comes to preparing for any storm, it’s always better to be more prepared than necessary. The tips we've shared are a good place to start when looking at your hurricane readiness plan but, as always, you should consider additional precautions as necessary for your deck and home.
What hurricane prep tips would you add?