Windows and doors play an important role in protecting a home during a storm. They stop rain and wind from entering, keeping the interior dry and preventing the forces of wind uplift from lifting off the roof or otherwise damaging the structure. When damage is sustained inside a home, repair are more expensive compared to just exterior damage. Personal possessions can be damaged or destroyed. All openings in the exterior of a building should be secured
to withstand high winds and wind-borne debris. Prior to a storm, homeowners should remove or secure items in the yard that may become wind-borne missiles.
Broken glass in windows or doors allows rain to enter, damaging the structure, interior finishes, and contents. Latching mechanisms should be added to all windows and doors to lessen the chance of them being forced open by high winds. Windows can be protected with added storm windows, storm shutters, temporary storm panels, window films, or storm screens. Interior or exterior storm windows are available and can also help lower energy costs by reducing air infiltration in historic homes.
Shutters are a common and often distinctive feature of many native Louisiana building styles and are common on both windows and doors. Other styles imported from different climates, like Arts and Crafts bungalows or Mid-Century ranch houses, either had no shutters or had false ones permanently affixed to the side of the building. Shutters were historically used for ventilation, privacy, and to shade building interiors from the sun. They also protected glass windows and doors from breaking in a storm. Reproduction shutters can be manufactured to match historic materials and details. Modern roll-up or folding shutters attached to the exterior change the appearance of a historic
building and are not recommended.
Temporary storm panels are preferable alternatives to modern retrofit shutters. Temporary storm panels can be made from plywood or corrugated metal and should be produced ahead of time to be on hand when a storm is imminent. Fabric storm panels or screens, impact resistant film added to glass, or woven metal screens may be less noticeable than modern shutters and detract less from the historic character of the building while still offering some protection. When installing permanent barriers like shutters or screens, it is important that they be appropriate to the style of the building.
|Building Elevation||Raise above BFE or DFE||Easier on houses with crawl spaces||More complex for houses with additions or on grade||High||Professional|
|Dry Flood Proofing||Walls are coated with water proof material and all openings must be closed off during a flood||Works best on masonry buildings whose foundations are built on grade||Not recommended for historic buildings and materials||Low||Professional|
|Wet Flood Proofing||Flooding is planned for by moving utilities and contents above the BFE or DFE||Alternative for homes that cannot be elevated||Could result in more damage||Medium||DIY or Professional|
|Levees||Large embankment. Rule of thumb that for every 1 ft in height the levee must be 7 ft wide||Prevents floodwaters from reaching the house||Can be very large and may provide the perception that you are diverting water towards your neighbors||Low||Professional/ Government|
|Floodwalls||Wall constructed around home or property to protect against floodwaters||Prevents floodwaters from reaching the house||Can be very large and may provide the perception that you are diverting water towards neighbors||Low||Professional|
|Site Drainage||When the land slopes towards a building it can guide water towards the building||Grade the landscape away from buildings||Can disrupt the landscape that may have historic plantings||High||DIY or Professional|
|French Drain||Typically a trench that has a slotted pipe to divert water away from buildings||The drain is buried in the ground and will not be visible||Will have to disturb site to dig drain||Medium||DIY or Professional|
|Porch||Reinforce structural elements and tie together from foundation to roof||Prevents porch and its elements from being washed or blown away||If the roof is an extension of the main roof and the porch pulls away from the house this can lead to water in infiltration on the interior||High||Professional|
|Chimneys||Repair and anchor to house||The mass of a chimney can serve as an anchor for a building||May require some repointing or reconstruction to strengthen or stabilize||Medium||Professional|
|Roofs||Well maintained roofs should sustain less damage during high winds. Connections should be strengthened to tie the structure together||If your roof has reached the end of its life and needs replacement this is the time to add a water proof membrane and strengthen connections||When replacing a roof this is the best time to upgrade. Your options may be limited if your are not replacing your roof which should not be done for a roof in good condition||High||Professional|
|Windows and Doors||All openings should be secured||Additional or stronger hardware may be needed||May take longer to determine appropriate hardware for historic windows and doors||High||DIY or Professional|
|Window Films||Can be added to existing windows to hold glass fragments together during high impacts||May also provide a savings to homeowners long term by reducing energy costs||May not provide adequeate protection from wind borne debris||Medium||Professional|
|Temporary Shutters||Provide protection for glass against wind-borne debris||Can be pre- pared ahead of time for quicker installation when a storm approaches||Need to be installed when a storm is imminent. Homeowners should be physically able to do this themselves or have a plan for an event||Medium||DIY|
|Permanent Shutters||Provide protection for glass against wind-borne debris||Can be put in place before a storm and may be easier for homeowners who are physically challenged to execute||Aluminum roll down shutters stand out on historic facades. Permanently attached shutters may block egress||Low||Professional|
|Storm Windows||Provide protection for glass against wind-borne debris||Can be installed on the interior or exterior||Exterior storm windows are often not recommended for historic homes; Interior storm windows will protect against water in filtration but will not protect the windows||High||DIY or Professional|
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