Wind damage can pose a significant threat to homes, especially those situated in areas prone to high winds, storms, and tornadoes. As of September, the United States experienced over $3 billion in insured losses annually, attributable to various factors, including wind. In regions like Oak Brook, Illinois, which encounters its fair share of strong winds and thunderstorms, taking steps to safeguard your home is crucial. In fact, Oak Brook recorded a wind speed as high as 57.9 mph in July 2023, underscoring the necessity of being prepared.

Properly preparing your home and implementing preventative measures can help minimize destruction and ensure your family’s safety in the event of high winds. Follow these eight tips to protect your Oak Brook home from potential wind damage:

1. Inspect and Repair Roof Shingles

During high winds, the roof of your home is especially vulnerable. Loose, cracked, or missing shingles can easily detach, allowing strong gusts to enter the attic and interior. It’s essential to inspect all roof surfaces and eaves thoroughly each year. Replace or repair any damaged or worn shingles using galvanized nails and reinforcing joints with roofing cement. A sturdy, wind-resistant roof serves as your primary defense.

Considering the frequent windy conditions in Oak Brook, homeowners in the area must be vigilant about their roof’s condition. An Oak Brook roofing contractor understands the specific challenges posed by the local climate and offers tailored solutions. Utilizing their expertise can help ensure your roof is well-prepared to withstand the elements. A roofing contractor in Oak Brook would advise homeowners to take proactive steps in securing their properties against wind damage.

2. Ensure Roof Decking Security

Properly securing your roof decking adds an extra layer of protection against wind damage. Roof decking serves as the foundation for your roof and is where shingles are attached. Inadequate installation and reinforcement of the decking can lead to loosening, jeopardizing the entire roof structure during high winds. 

When re-decking or installing new decking, opt for longer nails, hurricane ties, and reinforcement clips to firmly anchor the boards. Longer nails reach the rafters beneath and offer better support than standard ones. Hurricane ties literally fasten the roof deck boards to the rafters for exceptional wind resistance.

3. Install Roof Anchors for Safety

Installing reliable roof anchors provides essential attachment points for various wind-resistant systems. Roof anchors enable roofers to safely access and work on the roof by attaching harnesses and fall protection equipment when making repairs after a storm. These anchors also serve as tie-off points when working at heights.

In strong winds, roof anchors provide added structural stability, preventing lifting and peeling. Properly spaced anchors anchor the roof assembly securely using heavy-duty screws and bolts. When installing anchors, consider roofing material, joist spacing, and wind load ratings. For DIY installation, use hot-dipped galvanized anchors suitable for your roof type. 

4. Trim and Support Trees

During storms, falling branches and uprooted trees can be a big danger. To stay safe, make sure to trim your trees regularly to get rid of dead branches and help them grow well. For extra support, use cables and guy wires to brace larger trees. 

Also, remember to trim trees near power lines and don’t plant new ones too close to your home. Removing sick trees also lowers the chance of them falling onto your roof.

5. Secure Outdoor Items to Prevent Damage

Unsecured outdoor items can become hazardous projectiles during wind storms, causing significant damage. Objects like patio furniture, garbage cans, grills, and lawn decorations can be picked up and blown around by high-velocity winds.

When heavy storm winds or tornadoes are forecasted, bring lighter items like cushions, chairs, and decorations indoors or store them in the garage. For larger objects like grills, place them in a locked shed or garage if they don’t fit inside your home. Items that can’t be stored should be securely tied or strapped to a fixed structure using bungees, ropes, or weighted covers. Additionally, clear your yard of loose debris, branches, and tools that could become airborne in strong winds. Remove objects near windows or glass doors that may shatter if blown against them. Taking these precautions to secure outdoor items will safeguard your home from damage.

6. Install Storm Shutters for Added Protection

Installing storm shutters or impact-resistant windows is one of the most effective ways to shield your home from wind damage. Storm shutters create a sturdy barrier against strong winds, preventing debris from penetrating and reducing pressure from gusts.

Storm shutters are available in different styles, such as accordion, panels, and roll-down types. Accordion and panel shutters are quick to deploy before a storm hits, while roll-down shutters offer greater impact protection once fully closed. Choose a shutter style that is rated to withstand the maximum expected wind speeds and debris impacts in your area. You can either permanently install shutters on hinges for quick access or use temporary ones only when a storm is approaching.

7. Seal Cracks and Gaps with Caulk and Weatherstripping

Ensuring your home’s exterior is sealed against wind infiltration is crucial. Caulking and weatherstripping help prevent high-speed gusts from entering and reduce internal air pressure.

Inspect areas around doors and windows, as well as where pipes and wiring penetrate exterior walls, and use quality silicone or latex caulk to seal cracks and gaps. For movable joints like doors and windows, install adhesive weatherstripping to create a seal when closed while still allowing them to operate. Expanding spray foam is also effective for sealing larger gaps and holes. Steel entry doors with closed-cell foam insulation offer excellent wind resistance. Make sure exterior doors have proper thresholds with weatherstripping underneath to prevent wind gusts from getting underneath.

8. Reinforce Garage Doors for Added Security

The garage door is a vulnerable point for wind intrusion, and even moderate winds can damage and rip open poorly braced garage doors. Once breached, strong winds can cause significant destruction inside the garage and other parts of your home.

Sectional garage doors should be reinforced with additional horizontal and vertical bracing, along with extra hinges, struts, and lag screws to secure the panels to the framing. For roll-up doors, boxed horizontal bracing significantly improves wind resistance. Side locking pins provide extra security for any garage door type during windy conditions. Ensure that electric garage door openers are properly maintained, and consider replacing old, poorly braced doors. Newer doors are designed to withstand wind forces more effectively. 


Taking preventive measures to safeguard your home against wind damage provides peace of mind and can potentially save homeowners thousands of dollars in repair costs when storms strike. Following these eight practical tips will help protect your Oak Brook home from destruction caused by extreme winds. 

Assess vulnerable areas, secure loose items, and install protective reinforcements proactively before the windy season arrives. Additionally, consider partnering with qualified local roofing contractors and arborists to identify areas needing improvement. With diligence and proper preparation, your home will be well-equipped to withstand any turbulent weather that comes its way.

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