Hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage each year. There’s no guarantee that your house will be spared from storm damage during a hurricane, but following these tips can help lessen the risk. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare, because you might not have time. Plus, resources for protecting a home from a hurricane can become scarce as the storm nears. Use the time between hurricane seasons to outfit your home for storm protection.
Flying debris can quickly shatter a window during a storm. This type of damage could send shards of glass into your home and leave you vulnerable to flooding as well as wind and water damage.
At minimum, cover your windows with hurricane film. While it won’t prevent the glass from breaking, it should keep it in place so that it doesn’t pose a greater danger.
Plywood is a more secure option that prevents glass from shattering if something hits your windows. Buy sheets ahead of time, and attach them to the windows’ exterior shortly before the storm using heavy-duty screws or masonry bolts.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, storm shutters are ideal. You don’t need any special tools or materials to quickly pull them shut in inclement weather.
The wind can blow doors open and fill your house with wind and rain. Adding a long bolt to the exterior doors can keep you safe.
Before the storm, check your weather stripping. A tiny gap in the door can lead to big problems if the wind pushes the rain through it. You can also use sandbags to seal gaps at the bottoms of your doors and windows.
Secure Loose Outdoor Items
Your kids’ seemingly harmless jungle gym can become a hazardous projectile during a hurricane. Clear your yard and patio of flower pots, furniture, umbrellas, toys and sports equipment. If you can’t store something in a house, shed or garage, you can secure it to the deck with anchors, group it with similar items using bungee cords, and place sandbags on top of it.
As trees die and become hollow, their structure weakens. Large branches can cause enormous amounts of damage if they fall on your house. Dead trees can fill up with water and keel over. Have your yard landscaped regularly by a professional. Maintain your trees so that they don’t become a risk during a hurricane.
Check Your Roof
Even a category 1 storm can damage shingles. Although it seems counterproductive to put on a new roof right before a storm, it can save you money in repairs later.
Water can seep through damaged shingles and flashing in a hurricane. This can lead to mold and mildew issues. It can rot the materials in your walls, compromising your home’s security.
Have your home inspected before a big storm. Most roofing companies will do this for free. They hope that they get your business if you need repairs before or after the hurricane.