Are Tiny Houses Safe in Storms?

Are Tiny Houses Safe in Storms?

4 min read

A dream home is nothing if it isn’t safe for your family and yourself. Tiny homes are some of the hottest topics in real estate today. These houses are popular because of their emphasis on minimalist living, but one can wonder if they are safe.

Are tiny houses safe in storms? In one word – “Yes.” Tiny houses are capable of standing up to some storms. Still, if you acquire one, you will need to take certain measures to guarantee maximum protection. Buyers are encouraged to add secure windows and doors and buy the best insurance just in case the worst happens.

 

Are tiny houses safe in storms?

Standard tiny home models come with well-thought exterior features designed to withstand storms. Look for things like, impact windows and doors, flat roof, and steel support structures to help the house brace strong winds. Instead of shingles for the roof and siding, some tiny homes feature sheets of steel (can be corrugated or plain) to prevent individual parts from flying up during the chaos of a storm.

But because storms are diverse, you will need to choose an option designed for a specific storm. Most of the options you will find are designed for hurricanes.

 

How much wind can a tiny house withstand?

An average tiny house can withstand all category 3 storms and less. Category 3 storms are accompanied by winds traveling between 111 and 129 mph. These winds can cause injury and death to pets, livestock, and people mostly from falling and flying debris.

Most older mobile houses will be destroyed. Those that may remain standing are guaranteed to sustain significant damages.

Most small homes nowadays are built with lightweight but durable materials engineered to withstand moderate to relatively strong winds and heavy rainfall.

 

What type of damages should a tiny house owner anticipate from a storm?

Different storms will inflict different kinds of damage. The best way to prepare your tiny house for a storm is to understand the likeliest kind of damage. Also, it is important to understand that tiny homes aren’t safe from all types of storms.

Any storm capable of tearing a large traditional home will certainly knock out a tiny house unless it is an armored cave, such as this radical approach.

For that reason, before making up your mind about where to park your tiny house, stay clear from areas prone to highly destructive storms.

Here are some of the common storm-induced home damages you could deal with:

 

1. Heavy rains and flooding

Forget about the chaos that normally accompanies a rainstorm, heavy rain can inflict extensive damages all by itself. Floods are a common product of heavy rains and can damage your tiny home through:

  • Water
  • Mold growth
  • Electrical damages
  • Cracked foundation
  • Wood damage (ex. rot)
  • Heavy falling debris

Flooding-related damages fall anywhere between manageable and severe, and that’s why you need to prepare your tiny home the right way.

 

2. Tornado-related damages

Tornadoes are commonplace in the central part of the United States. We won’t detail how these property destroyers are formed – just know they are among the top destroyers of homes in this part of the country.

The biggest threat from tornadoes is wind. This, paired with all sorts of falling debris can inflict heavy damage to a tiny home.

The most effective preventive measure is to wait for the tornado to show up and move the tiny house out of its path. It is recommended that you figure out a backup plan to stay safe.

Tornados are brutal, often breaking windows and uprooting trees in their paths. Roof damages and extensive structural damages are well documented.

 

3. Hurricane damage

Hurricanes are very much like tornadoes, but slightly more devastating. While tornadoes are known almost solely for strong winds, hurricanes combine strong winds, heavy rains, and flooding. Fortunately, they only occur in certain regions that you can avoid.

Unfortunately, hurricanes are highly destructive and there’s nothing you can do to protect a tiny house or any other type of home from them.

You can expect:

  • Roof damage
  • Flooding
  • Structural damage
  • Missing and badly damaged home paneling
  • Long-term erosion
  • Broken windows

 

Can you buy an insurance policy against storm damage?

It is important to insure your tiny house as damages may still occur regardless of the preventive measures in place. However, getting appropriate storm protection for a tiny home isn’t an easy task because many insurance companies haven’t figured out how to cover them.

For those that do, you might be asked to pay extra to cover events like flooding.

 

How to protect your tiny home against storms

Rather than move away now and then, most people opt to weatherproof their homes and resist the storms. This shouldn’t be a problem with tiny houses since it’s less expensive.

Here are the measures you can take to secure your tiny house during storms:

 

1. Securing doors and windows and doors

Windows and doors often experience first-hand damages during storms, and this comes. Fortunately, it is cheap to reinforce the windows with plywood for maximum protection. Plywood is one of the toughest building materials out there and is less likely to shatter or break in the chaos the normally accompany storms.

It is wise to choose a tiny house built with earthquake and hurricane tie-downs.

 

2. House insulation

It is not uncommon for heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures to accompany even the least destructive storms. The best protection against snow and sub-zero temperatures is a layer of insulation. A big part of tiny homes come with insulation to prevent buyers from making risky adjustments to the structure and spending extra resources on the exercise.

Better yet, you can use heavy-duty spray foams to insulate a tiny house built on snowy ground.

 

3. Weatherproofing electrical appliances

Often, storms disrupt power lines causing localized power outages. However, most tiny houses are designed to be used off-grid, so this may not pose a challenge to some buyers. However, buyers without solar modules or generators are often advised to buy weatherproof cords and appliances.

Just because you live off-grid doesn’t mean you don’t need to waterproof your equipment and some parts of your home. Such items as solar panels must be weatherproof and grounded properly to keep delivering in bad weather.

 

4. Put things away

Home equipment and utilities should be kept away in cabinets. Remove toys, tables, and chairs from windows. Remember to disconnect cables from devices.

 

5. Get yourself a good parking space

Parking between two tall buildings is both beneficial or problematic. While tall buildings may protect your tiny house from strong winds, they can rain tons of debris on your home if they get damaged.

Victoria Miller

I'm the founder of NTT. I live in Miami, Florida, and enjoy learning everything there is to know about tiny spaces.