Seven Ways to
Protect Your Home in 2023
Following the devastating damage of Hurricane Ian, Aon’s experts reveal how hurricane mitigation efforts since
Florida’s first statewide building code
was adopted in 2002 have created more resilient homes – and how homeowners
can further build upon this in 2023.
Tap on the red circles to learn more
The Roof Covering
Replace aged roof coverings
Roof coverings that stay intact minimize water intrusion. As a roof ages, shingles may become unsealed and are more at risk of damage in a high wind event. Observations from Hurricane Ian showed limited damage to new roof coverings while aged (7-10 years old) roof coverings were often tarped and had street debris containing drywall and insulation indicating interior water damage.
The Roof Deck
Seal the roof deck
The roof deck is the last line of defense to prevent water intrusion if the roof covering is displaced in a hurricane. Florida recently adopted the 2020 Florida Building Code which requires a fully sealed roof deck. This will help minimize interior damage in future hurricane events.
The Roof to Wall Connection
Secure the roof to the wall
A strong connection between the roof and the wall can be the difference between containing interior damage to one room and a total loss. A roof that does not have a connection that fully wraps around the roof truss and connect
to the walls is more likely to be lifted completely off the structure in high winds.
Protect the windows
Hurricane shutters or windows that are rated for high wind pressure and debris impacts are critical to structure survivability. Since 2009, the Florida Building Code has required most homes in Southwest Florida have window protection which limit major interior damage and structural failures in Hurricane Ian.
Brace the garage door
An unbraced garage door can buckle under high wind pressure allowing the interior of the structure to pressurize, putting the home at risk of a major structural failure, as evidenced in several older South Florida homes following Hurricane Ian.
Elevate the property
Multiple high-water marks that were measured during Aon’s post-disaster
field reconnaissance trip revealed more than 10 feet of storm surge from
Fort Myers down to Naples. Elevated structures built to current building codes suffered limited damage while structures built directly on the ground were severely damaged.
Install flood vents
Many newer homes on the Southwest Florida coast featured flood vents to help mitigate foundation failures due to storm surge. The flood vents allow storm surge to move in and out of the structure without creating excessive pressure on the walls.