Will our new homes stand up to another storm?

Hurricane Season 2022: Staying Strong
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 1:23 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s been nearly two years since Hurricane Laura destroyed homes and businesses across the region, and remarkably, many have still not been rebuilt.

For those planning construction, there’s so much to think about. Of course, the priority for many – will my new home stand up to another storm?

No one wants to think about it – the possibility of another major hurricane. But would you be prepared? What about your home? Windows? Roof?

There are countless building standards to keep in mind, but local experts are lending their advice.

“When it comes to practical options for homeowners during new reconstruction or remodeling after a hurricane, some items to consider are a shingle with a higher wind resistance, if you’re using doing a brick ex to your platting, using more brick ties to tie back the brick to the frame of your building. You can also consider using impact resistant windows,” said Home Building Materials vice president Garret Coates.

Hurricane Laura’s destruction left a sea of blue tarps across Southwest Louisiana, and some of those roofs remain covered.

Lake Area Roofing owner Thomas Jones says architectural and three-tab shingles are the main roofing types. He shares which option he thinks is best in another strong hurricane.

“I think architectural shingle is the way to go currently architectural shingle has a wind rating up to 130 mph. If you go to a three-tab shingle the wind rating is only 60 mph,” Jones said.

And though wind-rated, it’s been made clear, some materials can’t stand up to mother nature.

“It’s a force of nature, its an act of God – we’re people we can’t fight nature,” said Jessie Arabie of Arabie Roofing.

Brick littered the streets after Laura, pulled away from buildings and homes.

Garret Coates recommends tie backs to help secure brick facades to internal structures.

“There were a lot of buildings during Hurricane Laura and Delta that had collapsed brick walls, and I feel like that was because there weren’t enough tie backs used in the construction process,” Coates said.

While many contractors worked in Lake Charles after Laura and Delta, hiring local has its benefits.

“One of the most important things is choosing a local contractor, one that’s been here a while, one that knows the area, one that’s been through a hurricane,” Coates said.

“I’m a big believer in using local businesses because were still gonna be here before and after the storm,” Jones said.

“Just want everybody to be safe, use reputable contractors – there’s no such thing as hurricane proof, nothing is hurricane proof. No fence, no roof, no building,” Arabie said.

It’s a daunting process – one many who started right after the storms are still dealing with.

Keep an eye out for too-good-to be-true deals, and always research a business before hiring them.

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