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If you live in the southeast, especially near the gulf coast, hurricane prep is probably on your mind before the season even starts.
You protect your family by making sure everyone knows the safest places in your home and solidifying your evacuation plan in case you need to ride out the storm somewhere safer.
But do you know how to protect your home? Hurricane damage costs an untold amount of damage each year. While some storms will cause damage no matter the amount of preparation you do, there are actions you can take to lower the chances of catastrophic damage.
As home improvement experts, we’re here with 10 ways for you to protect your home this hurricane season.
If you don’t have impact-resistant windows or hurricane shutters, you’ll want to make sure you have all the supplies you need to board your windows before a storm is in the forecast. Most people believe that boarding windows simply keeps them from getting broken if there is flying debris. While that’s certainly true, there is a bigger reason to board them: if a window is broken during a hurricane, the sudden change in pressure inside your house can blow the roof off.
The easiest way to board up your windows is with plywood and corrosion-resistant screws. Purchase or cut plywood sheets so that they are one inch bigger than your window on each side. Using screws and your power drill, attach the plywood with screws every 12-16 inches depending on the size of your window.
If you have the time and budget, upgrading to impact-resistant windows is a smart move. Built to withstand category 5 hurricane-force winds (157+ MPH), the extra protection will give you peace of mind during storms.
If you have the time and budget, upgrading to impact resistant windows is a smart move. Built to withstand category 5 hurricane force winds (157+ MPH), the extra protection will give you peace of mind during storms.
The start of hurricane season is a good reminder to check in with your homeowners, renters, and even car insurance, to ensure your coverage is still up to date. Learning that your coverage isn’t enough after suffering damage is never a good experience. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, be sure to add flood insurance to your coverage. Most insurance companies do not include flood insurance in standard coverage, so this is an important thing to check.
Sealing your roof is a great way to extend the life of your roof, but it also provides an extra layer of protection against the elements. When it comes to hurricanes, roof sealant will help prevent shingles from blowing off and act as a waterproof barrier. This is a job for a professional and you can expect to pay around $900, depending on the size of your roof and the coating you choose. Replacing a roof can cost several thousand dollars, so sealing is well worth the investment!
Flying debris like tree limbs and branches do untold damage during hurricanes. While you can’t completely prevent trees from losing limbs, you can lessen the risk. Prune your trees, being careful not to remove more than 25% of the tree branches, as that can kill it. Removing some of the interior branches will allow wind to pass through more easily. If you’re not comfortable pruning your trees yourself, contact a professional. This will ensure the trees are trimmed safely without posing risk to the tree.
Of course, you’ll bring your patio furniture and decorations inside when a hurricane approaches, but it’s also important to make sure your porch and carport posts are secured. Double check to make sure none of your posts are loose. If they are, reattach them with corrosion resistant screws, as they are stronger than nails.
This is another thing that is important year round, but is especially important during hurricane season. When your window seals or door weatherstripping are degraded or damaged, it is easy for wind and – more importantly when we’re talking about hurricanes – water to make its way inside. Check the seals and weatherstripping around your windows and doors to make sure it is intact. If not, reseal them as soon as possible.
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During the storm, it’s a good idea to unplug electronics like your TV, game consoles, computers (including laptops), printer, and even your treadmill. This ensures that any power fluctuations don’t overload or fry your electronics. Even if you use surge protectors, the power fluctuations brought on by large storms like hurricanes are often too much for a surge protector to handle. Once the storm has passed, wait 10-15 minutes after power is restored to plug these items back in.
Hurricane-force winds are some of the strongest winds you’ll likely experience. With that comes the threat of your doors being blown open. Safeguard against this by piling sandbags or furniture in front of your doors to seal them in place. This gives your door a fighting chance against particularly strong hurricane winds.
It’s natural to be curious about what’s going on when an extreme weather event like a hurricane is happening right at your doorstep! Regardless, you and your curious children should stay inside until indicated it’s safe to leave. Hurricanes bring strong wind that carry debris like roof shingles, rocks and even power lines that can cause injury if you’re not careful. Stay indoors and secure your doors and windows until the storm has fully passed. Stock up on plenty of fresh food and bottled water and, if you anticipate a good while before the storm passes through, buy a new puzzle and some books to help make the wait go by quicker!
Hurricanes are powerful and capable of causing tremendous amounts of damage. If you’re lucky, the most you’ll have to deal with a few downed tree limbs and maybe a shutter or two knocked off your home. However, electrical wires may fail and fall down in strong winds. Stay away from these wires, especially if they’re in pools of water. You don’t know if they’re active or not. It’s best to leave that to a professional!
As a locally-owned company, we know how important it is to prepare your home for hurricane season. If you’re ready to upgrade your home with impact-resistant windows, we’re here to help. Get started by scheduling your free estimate today.