Fortifying homes to withstand hurricane force winds, rain

Updated: Jul. 8, 2019 at 4:25 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Institute of Insurance of Business and Home Safety (IBHS) is helping homeowners along the North Carolina coast protect their homes from severe weather.

IBHS has been researching storms since the 1970s to improve homes and roofing systems. In 2010, it began testing to improve standard building codes.

“Outside of storm surge, 85 percent of insurance claims are with the roof," said Roy Wright, CEO of IBHS. “The roof is the piece that is front and center. Our fortified program builds beyond the building code.”

The fortified roof program strengthens roofs by preventing wind damage and keeping water out.

“When shingles are lifted off, underneath those shingles is felt and 4x8 sheets of plywood. Those all have seams,” says Wright. “When water penetrates into your house, you’re moving out. That comes through your insulation, drywall, the mechanical and electrical and it begins to saturate. In the peak of summer, that turns into mold.”

Some of the improvements made with a fortified Roof include:

  • Renailing the roof deck with ring shank nails, providing double the strength
  • Sealing the roof deck and upgrading roof vents
  • Upgrading shingle roof installation
  • Making sure metal roof installations are engineered to improve wind resistance

Those who have a policy with the North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association could receive up to $6,000 toward installing a fortified roof. After policyholders submit a grant application and required documents, NCIUA and IBHS review them for eligibility.

To see if you qualify, click here.

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