On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas Gulf Coast, making landfall at Rockport as a category four storm. For the Coastal Bend, much of the destruction was caused by strong wind, not storm surge or flooding.
According to a study done by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, Harvey destroyed more than 15,000 homes and damaged 25,000 homes.
Covering doors and windows with shutters or even plywood helped reduce wind damage, but, according to the study, worked best if all doors and windows were protected, not just the side facing the water.
Hip roofs — where all sides slope down — sustained less damage than the more typical gable end roofs. Also, most of the homes surveyed had asphalt shingles. More than half those homes lost shingles and sustained more damage. The report recommends sealing gaps between sheets of plywood on roofs to minimize damage when shingles are lost.
Single garage doors failed more often than double garage doors, although more studies need to be done to figure out why.
And no surprise, the study shows homes built to modern codes generally fared better than older, weaker buildings built under older code.
IBHS says the findings should guide how homes and roofs are repaired and constructed in the future to prevent avoidable damage.
by JENNIFER LIRA