During fair weather seasons, most professional engineers’ day-to-day routine includes conducting typical engineering tasks such as studying site layouts and analyzing building designs. However, some professional engineers shift their focus from these low-risk tasks to high-stake situations when the hurricane season commences – where lives and properties can be lost, and people can be severely injured due to poorly engineered homes.
While the Atlantic hurricane season is already at its peak, it is now more critical than ever for homeowners to plan ahead before for the upcoming storms and engage the expertise of a licensed professional engineer to ensure that their house can still withstand the powerful force of at least 10 more hurricanes to come this year.
Although experts believe that the Atlantic region will see fewer hurricane this season, it doesn’t make the season any safer for homeowners, since several studies have already shown that hurricanes are getting stronger – 13 mph faster during the intensification period than the average speed during the same period three decades ago.
With all that being said, professional engineers are the most reliable experts that homeowners can depend on to identify all the necessary structural adjustments that have to be done on their house before a strong hurricane hits. Read on as we discuss in this posts how professional engineers can help homeowners fully prepare before the hurricane season starts.
Reinforce the Most Vulnerable Components to Minimize Damage
When a professional engineer is hired to perform a pre-storm assessment, one of the things they check first are the points of the house that are most vulnerable to storm damage, such as the roof, crawl spaces, window, and door coverings.
Structural engineers can check if the roof has loose roof tiles of shingles, or on a metal roof – rust and loose anchoring, and then provide an actionable plan to reduce the chance of losing part or the entire roof during the hurricane.
They also ensure that no water will enter the home’s attic by assessing the condition of the attic’s ventilation system: eave and gable end vents, soffits, and turbines. They also inspect if the attic, as well as the basement of the house, are adequately insulated to ensure that no molds will grow inside the house due to increased humidity during the hurricane season.
Furthermore, structural engineers can also help homeowners to choose the right hurricane-resistant window shutters, and door coverings required in their state or region, as well as determine the right window and door area that has to be covered.
Determine Structural Aspects that Can Be Improved
Professional engineers can also study and test the different construction materials used in the main components of the house to determine if they are strong enough to withstand the wind force at high speeds which most hurricanes exhibit these days.
By better understanding on how different materials react to varying wind force, professional engineers will be able to provide expert opinion about the different retrofit options that homeowners can execute to enhance the structural integrity of their house.
Ensure All Emergency Power Systems Are Operational
Professional engineers can also check and verify the performance of the emergency power systems installed in the house to ensure they are ready when a power outage hits. They review all related electrical and mechanical components of the emergency power systems to ensure they are properly configured and can carry the load of the entire house and keep all the vital systems up and running until the power is restored.
Overall, professional engineers are the homeowner’s best ally in order to minimize the damage when the next hurricane strikes. While no home is ever hurricane-proof, professional engineers’ expertise in structural investigations, electrical engineering, and mechanical design, can indeed help homeowners develop and execute mitigation plans to best ensure that their family and their property can survive the damaging effects of a coming hurricane.
Contact us today to learn how our professional engineers can help you better prepare for the hurricane season.