Outdoor screen rooms and screened pool enclosures are commonly built in areas that are at risk from heavy thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes. How are these structures affected by windstorms?
The Short Answer: “It Depends”
The two major factors that determine how your screen room will fare in a windstorm are the quality of construction and the intensity of the storm. Better-constructed screen rooms have strong frame pieces, diagonal bracing, well-anchored support beams, and strong brackets to join the frame elements together. Cheaper construction features thinner, weaker frame elements and few (or no) diagonal elements, leaving the frame vulnerable to twisting.
Better construction will protect your investment from wind – up to a point. Even the best-constructed screen room will see some damage from a strong tropical storm or hurricane. Even if the structure doesn’t actually blow away, it will suffer damage from flying debris. Even a small object can cause serious damage if it hits your screen room at 150 miles per hour.
However, for lesser storms, having a well-constructed and well-maintained screen room can mean the difference between replacing a few screen panels and replacing the entire structure.
Some Preventive Tips
Here are some things you can do to minimize the damage to your screen room from windstorms:
- Have your screen room checked for corroded screws and frame parts, and have any questionable parts replaced.
- Keep the trees in your yard trimmed back from your screen room.
- If a tropical storm or hurricane is on its way, remove objects, both inside and outside the screen room, which could become projectiles in a strong wind. Also, if possible, remove some screen panels to reduce wind load on the structure.
Following these tips can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in post-storm repairs.