A dream house is not a home unless it is safe for you and your family. With the trend of smaller living on the rise, people can’t help but wonder is tiny houses are safe.
But, what about unpredictable weather patterns?
Are tiny houses safe in storms? Yes, tiny houses can stand up to storms. However, it is important that certain measures are in place to protect you. You need to secure doors and windows and make sure you have good insurance in case something goes wrong.
Homes are only as safe as they are built.
So, if changing storms is an issue where you live, there are some precautions to take. The last thing you should have to worry about in your new home is your safety.
Here is everything you need to know about keeping your tiny house safe during a storm.
What Kind of Damage Can You Expect From a Storm?
One way to prepare your tiny house for the rough weather ahead is to know what damage you could expect. It is also important to note that different types of storms can create their own form of chaos. Also, tiny houses are not safe from every storm.
Storms that notoriously destroy larger traditional homes have enough force to easily knock out tiny houses.
So, before planning on where to park your tiny house, the to avoid areas where these storms are found. Here is some of the most commonly reported home damage associated with storms:
Heavy Rain and Flooding
The most common types of storms that can cause damage are heavy rain. While many storms feature rain as part of the chaos, rain by itself can be damaging enough. According to a FEMA report, flooding is the most common form of weather damage to homes.
Tiny houses are no exception to this standard.
While flooding may be the most common problem in storms, the havoc they cause can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Here are some problems that you can expect when experiencing heavy rains and flooding in your area:
- Water damage
- Electrical damage
- Foundation cracking
- Wood damage
- Heavy debris
While the side effects of flooding can range from manageable to severe, with the right preparation your home can come away safe.
Tornados are most commonly found in the central USA. This is because of the cool air coming from the north clashes with the warmth from the south making for a perfect storm. When you combine this with the high mountain region block the air flow, tornados can occur. While the area that tornados effect is small, the damage is great.
The number one thing to note about tornados that the biggest threat is the wind damage. This, paired with falling debris can cause some serious damage to tiny houses.
When it comes to tiny houses, a major concern is whether or not they can stand up to wind, literally. Because most tiny houses are displayed on trailers or wheels, homeowners are concerned about them knocking over.
According to an Oregon News Report, owners of tiny houses have decided to wait out these type of storms. You should feel some comfort knowing that owners of tiny homes that live in tornado zones feel safe.
However, it is always a good option to have a backup plan.
Here is the most common damage to a home that you can see with a tornado:
- Broken windows
- Structural damage
- Trees uprooted
- Roof damage
If you are planning on living in an area that is prone to hurricanes, you may want to reconsider living in a tiny house. Hurricanes tend to be the worst of both worlds. They have the flooding that comes along with heavy rains as well as the strong winds that you see with tornados.
While tiny houses can be built strong, there is only so much you can do in the face of a hurricane. Since hurricanes have notoriously been able to knock down large structures, no home is really safe.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still live on the coast where your heart is.
The one plus side about owning a tiny house that has wheels is that you can easily move them out of danger. This means that you can enjoy still enjoy the golf coast and be able to pack up and run when needed.
When it comes to the damage that is caused by hurricanes, here is what you can expect:
- Roof damage
- Structural damage
- Long-term erosion
- Missing and damaged home paneling
- Broken windows
Can You Weatherproof A Tiny House?
If you are worried about your tiny home standing up to the brunt of a storm, consider a different approach.
Weatherproofing homes is a common practice for people who live in high-risk areas.
So, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to also weather-proof your tiny house. Best of all, because of their compact size, it can be faster and less expensive to do on tiny houses.
Taking the right amount of precautions when preparing for a storm can help reduce the damage to your tiny house. Here are some ways to weatherproof your tiny home to help keep your home, and your family well protected:
Secure Your Windows
During off-storm seasons, your windows protect you from the elements. However, in the case of a severe storm, your windows are the first thing to go. This is because structurally, homes are built to the bend in the wind.
But, windows don’t have the same flexibility. With heavy winds that come along with heavy storms, windows will break.
This creates a danger for your family because not only will there be glass, you will no longer have a shield from the wind. To keep yourself safe, it is imperative to secure your windows first.
This can easily be done with sheets of plywood. When plywood is used to reinforce your windows, they are less likely to break when hit with strong winds.
Consider Your Insulation
While heavy rain storms can be damaging, there is another danger that may be worse. If you live in a more tundra-style area you will have to deal with heavy snow. Along with the snow and ice, comes freezing temperatures.
One way to ensure that your house is protected is to choose your insulation wisely.
Tiny houses are insulating during the building process which means you will have to prepare for the snow right from the start. So, if you know the snow will be an issue, consider swapping standard insulation for a heavy duty spray foam.
Foam does a great job of covering large areas with a thick layer of insulation. Your tiny house will not only be able to hold in heat but will also be safe from freezing cold ice.
Protect Your Electricity
In the case of heavy storms, the first thing to go is power. Strong rain and wind can knock out power lines. However, in tiny houses, your generator is what will be needing the protecting. To keep a small problem from growing into an electrical danger, consider your power accessories.
All of the connections, as well as extension cords that are fitted to the generator, should be weatherproofed. In order to do this, make sure they come with a weatherproofing guarantee.
Cords that are made to withstand storm damage will not break or split in the face of heavy storm conditions. Unstable connections can cause electrical fires which can severely damage your tiny house.
Can You File An Insurance Claim For Storm Damage?
Sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, storm damage is bound to happen. This is why is so important to protect your home with insurance. But, getting storm protection for a tiny home is no easy task. This is because insurance companies are still having a hard time figuring out how to properly insure tiny homes.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you want storm protection from your insurance, you will have to ask for it. Most insurance companies require extra payments to cover special events like flooding.
So, if you live in an area that you know will cause storm complications, get yourself covered.
Check out this article for more information on how to insure your tiny house.
Living in your dream house doesn’t have to be stressful and filled with worry.
You and your family should be able to enjoy your tiny house like any other home. One way to keep the worry at bay is to think ahead. While you can’t always depend on the weather to behave, you can ensure that your home is on it’s best behavior.
With weatherproofing and a killer insurance plan, your tiny house can stand up to a storm just as well as larger homes. Take care.
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Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.