Hurricane Harvey Wind Damage Investigation
In its newest post-disaster study of the coastal wind damage caused by 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, IBHS unveils important new guidance for consumers with homes exposed to hurricane wind. The report also offers new quantitative data to inform architects and building designers, insurers and catastrophe modelers.
As communities along the Texas Coastal Bend rebuild – and for homeowners anywhere high winds occur – this report offers excellent guidance on how to defend against wind. It is based on a coordinated, scientific field assessment of how structures of various ages, designs and construction techniques fared against Hurricane Harvey’s Category 4 conditions.
Among the findings:
- Nearly a quarter of the attached structures surveyed – such as porches, sunrooms, and pool cages – were damaged by the storm, often becoming the culprit in further damage to the main house structure.
- Unprotected doors were damaged up to six times more frequently than protected doors. Of all the doors assessed, sliding glass doors fared the worst, with up to 60 percent damaged regardless of protection.
- Covering doors and windows with shutters or even plywood helps reduce wind damage and water intrusion but works best if ALL doors and windows are protected, not just the side facing the water.
- Hip roofs, which are more aerodynamic than gable end roofs, were damaged less frequently.
- Single garage doors failed more often than double garage doors.
Key findings in this report can help guide home repair, roofing and construction considerations for years to come in wind-prone and wind damaged communities.