Carports are designed to protect your car from the elements, though strong winds pose a particular challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of ways around it depending on the weather conditions, budget considerations, and personal preference. Here’s how to protect your carport from wind for a safer shelter overall.
As with most structures, stability starts with a solid foundation (literally). The best option for a safe, unshakable carport is a concrete or asphalt foundation due to their durability. Unfortunately, some homeowners shy away from this type of foundation because of the added cost. However, if you live in a windy area or are concerned about damage to your vehicle, it may be worth considering.
Keep in mind that carports themselves are relatively lightweight structures by nature. If you’ve ever seen tornado footage of mobile homes, it’s easy to see how susceptible they are to severe damage without any foundation. Building a solid base for your carport helps keep your vehicle and property out of harm’s way.
Carport models vary, but the most basic type consists of four pillars and a roof. Covering the top of your vehicle does offer some protection, depending on your area. The difference between a pillar-only carport and one with sidewalls is added stability from strong winds.
Check with your local ordinance about building codes before getting started since rules may vary. For example, adding walls to your carport could change its classification from a carport to a garage and subject you to different regulations. Generally speaking, garages have walls on four sides, while carport builds have zero to four.
Another strategy to upgrade your carport is by checking for sufficient anchors. Much like an anchor on a boat, these rods help keep your structure firmly in place. The type of anchor you need depends in part on your foundation material. Contact us today for help choosing the right style for your needs.
Is your carport located close to your home? If so, you may be in luck. That’s because your carport gets the added benefit of protection from a larger structure in case of inclement weather. In effect, your house helps block your carport from the wind as a larger, more stable building.
If you’re in the process of building a carport, don’t forget to consider location. Many carports are freestanding structures, though they don’t have to be. Try building next to or near your home, barn, or shed as an added layer of protection.
Do you remember the story of The Three Little Pigs? If so, you already learned that building materials aren’t created equal. Just because one carport works well in one area doesn’t mean it’s built to withstand your weather conditions and personal specifications. Ask yourself how robust yours needs to be before deciding on the final building materials.
There are two major materials to consider when choosing your carport. The first is what type of foundation to use, such as dirt, gravel, asphalt or concrete. Next, consider using wood or metal when building the frame and walls. Metal tends to be stronger and more affordable, while wood is more susceptible to wind damage.
If you’re looking for a way to shore up an existing carport, consider adding braces to your structure. These reinforcements offer internal support using wooden beams or metal rods stretching the length of a wall or ceiling. Unlike anchors, braces do not reinforce the foundation of your carport.
Another way to brace your structure is by mounting a hoop iron across your ceiling rafters. First, create a diagonal line by running the hoop iron from one corner to another on the opposite side of your carport. Then, nail it securely to each rafter for a taut brace and a more stable structure.
Like any other built structure, keeping your carport in working order involves occasional maintenance. Something as simple as a loose nail or missing bolt could cause a weaker structure over time. In addition, depending on your weather conditions and building materials, other issues like decaying wood or termite damage could also wreak havoc on your carport without proper maintenance.
Wind may be first and foremost on your mind, but good maintenance covers every aspect of structural damage. For example, improper water damage could create problems for your foundation in the long run. Likewise, staying on top of maintenance will prevent your carport from falling into disrepair.
There are a number of ways to protect your carport from the wind effectively. Find what works best for you based on budget, climate, materials, and location to keep your vehicle in excellent condition.
Got any questions about carport construction or maintenance? If so, we’d love to help. Give us a call or drop us a line for more information. Best of luck with your latest DIY project, and thanks for stopping by!