Well it’s that time of year again. This year is really flying by and it’s hard to believe hurricane season is almost here. For those who don’t know hurricane season extends from June 1st through September 30th each year. Hopefully this coming season will be an uneventful one like last year but I’m not willing to gamble on it. The truth is we can all take proactive steps to protect our property against hurricane damage. This post will summarize a few ways to strengthen your home from damaging wind and rain this coming season. Here are a few ways to decrease the likelihood of storm damage:
- Install impact resistant assemblies at exterior openings
- Have your roof inspected and secure all loose shingles
- Survey your surroundings
- Strengthen soffits if possible
- Check window perimeters and seal all cracks and holes
Install Impact Resistant Assemblies
One of the best forms of protection involves the installation of impact rated assemblies at all exterior openings. There is a wide array of shutter systems on the market to accommodate homeowners. Always make sure the system you select has the proper product approvals and are listed for large missile impact.
Have Roof Covering Inspected & Repaired
During a storm it is critical that the roof shingles stay attached. Following the hurricanes of years past is was easy to spot which roofs were aging or perhaps improperly installed. The cost to have your roof inspected by a licensed roofing contractor is very minimal. The repairs will most likely be minor and pay big dividends in the event of a storm.
Survey Your Surroundings
Reducing possible sources of wind borne debris is an easy step to further protect your home. Take the time to survey your property and spot items that ma become hazards during high winds. In addition, replacing rock or gravel with mulch or shredded bark is another technique. It is very important to keep all trees and shrubs adequately trimmed back.
Strengthen Soffits When Possible
Keeping soffits in place can help keep water out of your house. In many homes here in Florida the soffits are aluminum and not meant to withstand high winds. Make sure the soffit material is adequately tied back to the underlying wood or wood trusses. Adding sealant where the track intersects the exterior wall is another method to increase the overall strength of the soffit.
Check Windows and Seal Cracks or Holes
Another way to reduce the amount of water infiltration during a hurricane is to seal all exterior penetrations with a quality exterior grade sealant. Start with the window perimeters and make sure there are no voids or cracks. Next look at all penetrations at the exterior including plumbing, electrical, cable, and telephone. Also check the perimeters of all exterior receptacles, junction boxes, and electrical panels and/or meter enclosures. You’ll also want to check and seal any voids around dryer vents and light fixtures.
This article has touched on a few ways to protect your home in the event of hurricane. There is a wealth of information available to us all on ways to properly prepare for a storm. Visit DisasterSafety.org to learn more from the Institute of Business and Home Safety. Our company always stands ready to consult with clients on the wind mitigation features of there home. Once the home is surveyed an action plan can be put together to strengthen the home in the event of a storm. We also provide Uniform Wind Mitigation Insurance Inspections to document the features and in many cases reduce your premium by a significant amount.