The remnants of a modular home with several walls still standing after a tornado.

Modular homes are a popular choice for many people and families looking for a simple living option. Choosing a modular home may be a relatively quick and inexpensive option.

However, their affordability and quick build time have many homeowners wondering if they are safe and durable enough to hold up against hurricanes and tornadoes.

This article will explore how modular homes are constructed and what, if anything, makes them weather-resistant. We’ll also look at some of the benefits of owning a modular home in hurricane and tornado-prone areas.

Let’s take a closer look.

Do Modular Homes Hold Up During Hurricanes and Tornadoes?

Modular homes hold up well during hurricanes and tornadoes. Research shows that they are even better prepared for storm-related damage than traditional homes because of how they are built. As a result, modular homes are likely to survive hurricanes and tornadoes with minimal to no damage. 

What Is a Modular Home, and How Are They Constructed?

A modular or prefab home is a factory-built house that’s assembled on site. They use the same materials as traditional homes, but the sections are built in a controlled environment. This process allows for more precise construction and fewer weather-related delays.

Modular homes are built with incredibly robust materials. The walls, for example, are typically made of steel or reinforced concrete. This quality makes them much more resistant to high winds and flying debris.

The roofs are also designed to withstand high winds. They’re usually made of metal or asphalt shingles, which are strong but flexible. The houses are often equipped with hurricane straps or clips, which secure the roof to the walls and help prevent it from sustaining storm damage.

Some prefab home manufacturers use steel frames instead of wood, making them easier to assemble and even more resistant to high winds and flying debris. 

Modular vs. Traditional Construction 

While modular houses are highly resistant to hurricane and tornado damage, traditional construction methods aren’t necessarily less so. In fact, ‘stick-built’ or homes built using traditional methods can often withstand high winds and flying debris just as well as modular homes.

The main difference between the two is that modular homes are built in a controlled environment, which allows for more precise construction. That benefit means fewer opportunities for errors that could weaken the structure.

A modular home is assembled in a factory

Another difference is that modular structures are often glued and screwed together, creating a stronger bond than traditional methods like nailing or stapling. This measure increases the strength and stability of the house.

Modular Home Benefits in Natural Disaster-Prone Areas

There are several benefits to owning a modular home in areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes.

  • Modular homes have excellent resistance to damage – you are less likely to deal with repairs or replacements after a storm because of the strength and durability of the building materials used.
  • Insurers offer the same premiums for prefab and stick-built homes – insurance companies know these homes are less likely to be damaged by a hurricane or tornado.
  • Repairs are relatively simple – if your modular home suffers damage from a storm, it will be easier and faster to repair or replace than a traditional home. The modular sections can simply be removed and replaced with new ones!

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, a modular home might be the right choice. They offer better protection against these natural disasters and can save you money in the long run.

Tips for Increasing Your Modular Home’s Storm Resistance

While modular homes are pretty well-resistant to damage from hurricanes and tornadoes, there are a few things you can do to further hurricane or tornado-proof your house.

  • Make sure all modules are adequately secured to the foundation. When secure, they’ll be less likely to come loose in high winds. This measure usually means hiring a reputable builder and inspector during construction.
  • Install hurricane shutters or impact-resistant windows. These will help protect your home from flying debris and high winds. Installing these shutters is an easy DIY project that you can knock off in one weekend.
  • Make sure your home insurance policy covers hurricane and tornado damage. It is crucial to be protected financially if your home does suffer any damage during a storm.
  • Have an alternative source of power available – you’ll be able to weather the storm even if the power goes out! A generator is a good option, but solar panels are an excellent long-term investment.
  • Stock up on supplies. Having food, water, and batteries available will prepare you better if you’re stuck in your home for a few days after a storm.

Modular Home Manufacturer Guarantees

Most modular home manufacturers do not offer an official guarantee against hurricane or tornado damage. However, they will often stand behind their homes if damage is inflicted by these natural disasters. 

For example, Champion Homes reached out to a friend of ours after a natural disaster to check in and make sure her home had not sustained any damage. Fortunately, her home was not impacted by the storm, but she appreciated that they were willing to stand behind their product regardless.

Exterior front view of a Champion Home Builders modular home
Courtesy of Champion Homes

If you’re worried about your modular home being damaged in a storm, contact the manufacturer and ask about their policy. They should be able to give you more information about your specific home and what kind of coverage is offered, if any.

Best Modular Home Brands for Storm Resistance

There are quite a few modular home builders that construct hurricane-resistant units. Here are some of the most recommended:

  • Champion Homes: Champion homes are built to withstand high winds and flying debris. They’re also easy to repair or replace if they sustain damage from a storm.
  • Method Homes: These prefabs are also built to withstand high winds and flying debris. They’re slightly more expensive than Champion homes, but they offer a higher level of customization.
Interior view of a Method Homes modular green home
Courtesy of Method Homes
  • Topsider Homes: Topsider homes are designed specifically for coastal areas prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. They’re made with hurricane-resistant windows and doors and can be reinforced with storm shutters.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, choosing a modular home from one of these brands is wise. You’ll rest easy knowing that your home can withstand the worst that mother nature offers.

Climate Change and the Modular Housing Industry

As the world continues to warm, we can expect more extreme weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes. That’s why the modular housing industry needs to continue innovating and building homes that can withstand these natural disasters.

Modular homes already have many advantages over traditional stick-built homes when weathering storms. For example, they’re easier to repair or replace if damaged, and they can be outfitted with modern hurricane-resistant fittings that you’ll never see.

As the climate changes, we can expect even more modular home manufacturers to start building homes specifically designed for extreme weather events—and that’s a good thing for all of us!

If you’re thinking about buying a modular home, rest assured that you’re making a wise investment. These homes will only become more popular as the climate continues to change.

Final Thoughts

Modular homes are very well-resistant to natural disasters, even more so than traditional stick-built homes. They’re also becoming increasingly popular among homeowners.

If you’re thinking about buying a modular home, don’t wait any longer. Instead, get into prefab home forums, watch a few Youtube videos and try to find a good deal on a modular home. You’ll be glad you did!

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