Know the steps to take to protect your home from hurricane damage.
It’s September! As we look forward to things like cooler temps and the start of football season, we can’t forget that we’re also right in the middle of the hurricane season. In fact, early August through end of October is the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic. Now is the time to make sure you have a plan and the supplies to protect your home in the event of a storm.
Here are a few tips to help shield your home from costly hurricane damage:
If you don’t already have them, you may want to invest in storm shutters. Storm shutters are durable and will help protect your windows and doors from wind, rain, hail and flying debris. If you don’t have storm shutters, opt for plywood to board up windows before the storm arrives. Count and measure all of your windows and doors to be sure you have enough material on hand to do your board up. We’ve all seen how quickly supplies dwindle when a storm is on the way!
DO NOT TAPE WINDOWS. There is a common believe that taping your windows will help prevent cracks. Many experts say this is nothing more than a myth.
You also want to ensure that your door and window locks are secure. The last thing you want is a door or window flying open during strong winds.
Also take some time to caulk around doors and windows to prevent any moisture from entering the home and causing damage.
Garage doors are often prone to wind damage thanks to their large size and the lightweight materials with which they are built. Although many newer garage doors are designed to withstand higher wind forced, if you have an older door you will want to consider some type of reinforcement. Bracing your door not only helps to prevent the door from breaking off the track, it will also help protect your roof. Did you know that when wind gets into the garage it creates a simultaneous push-pull with the wind swirling above the home and can cause the roof to fly off your house? So don’t forget about the garage.
Bracing kits are available for purchase from most home improvement stores. You can also research DIY methods online to see what works best for you.
In addition to the garage, make sure any carports, porches, decks and sheds are in good repair and firmly attached. Don’t forget to clean out gutters and make any necessary repairs.
A category 1 hurricane, with wind speeds between 74-95 miles per hour can cause large tree branches to snap and shallow rooted trees to fall. A category 4 storm can reach wind speeds between 130-156 miles per hour. That will uproot entire trees and power poles. To minimize the threat of damage caused by flying tree limbs, take the time to trim trees and bushes, removing any dead or weak branches. If you any trees that look unhealthy, have those trees removed. When an impending storm is on the horizon, you may want to also consider tying down any small trees or shrubs to help prevent uprooting.
Although it probably goes without saying, don’t forget to move any patio furniture, flower pots, grills or other outdoor items to a secured indoor area. These items can also get blown about in strong winds and cause damage to your property or your neighbor’s property.
Preparing for a hurricane is not something that should wait until a storm is headed our way. By being proactive and preparing in advance, you stand a better chance of keeping yourself, your property and your belongings safe. Visit the National Hurricane Center and Ready.gov for more information on planning evacuation routes, building supply kits and much more.