Tracking the Tropics: Researchers make homes hurricane ready

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RICHBURG, S.C. — Welcome to a cool facility in Richburg, SC. It’s called the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s testing facility. It is a full-scale weather testing facility for structures and building materials. 

On Tuesday, the test was about a Fortified roofing system that can save your home from rainwater coming in. 

The method is a three-layer protection system that keeps water from coming into the house and damaging all your stuff even when shingles are being torn off by hurricane-force winds — using actual data collected during the landfall of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina last year. 

The 105 fans produce winds and gusts that simulated a slow-moving Category hurricane that had very heavy rain. 

These types of slow-moving hurricanes and tropical storms are becoming more frequent, and insurers are finding that most of the claims are coming from damage inside the home. 

If you can keep the shell of your home mostly intact even with some damage but keep the wind and rain out of the home, the cost of repairs is much smaller. 

The bonus here is the roofing system costs only slightly more than a regular roof. 

The taping of the plywood seems alone only coats an additional $500 on average. Throw in ribbed nails and better underlayment, and you can create a more resilient roofing system to protect all the stuff inside your home.