Prepping for Stormy Weather
While you live in an area where hurricanes are common, like in Florida, you've probably already experienced the frustration and fear that come alongside. So, how can you make sure your house stays in one piece when the next big storm hits?
You'll need to prepare on many levels and with many precautions, but you don't have to go overboard. A few small changes today, like clearing out debris from your yard, can make a huge difference in the outcome of your next hurricane experience. Plus, taking care of these projects now means you won't have to scramble later when you're under pressure from impending storms.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can prepare your home and get it ready before the next big storm hits. So, let's hurricane-proof your house today:
Install Shutters or Impact-Resistant Glass
The best way to protect your doors and windows from the impact of high winds and flying debris is by installing hurricane shutters or having at the at-least impact-resistant glass. Standard glass won't stay long against the impact of flying objects or debris. If you don't have shutters, you at least need to use thick plywood or some storm panels, but never leave windows open. Anyhow, plywood is not a reliable or long-term solution.
Hurricane-resistant shutters are engineered and installed for protection against hurricanes and tropical storms. These high-quality products are tested, and even they can withstand category-five hurricanes. Anyhow, it's best to know your budget and preferences to choose the best product for your window protection.
While installing shutters, make sure to use screws long enough so that they go through the shutter and into the wall studs behind it (or beam if there's one) for added stability. Make sure to use plenty of caulking or sealant around any screw joints where water could seep in. If cost isn't an issue and you don't plan on moving anytime soon, investing in some hurricane window protection screens is worth considering because they'll last virtually forever, no matter how many storms come by.
Conduct an exterior inspection
You can conduct an exterior inspection to see if there're some tiles or loose and heavy branches and get rid of them before an approaching storm. Also, make sure to remove any loose items or patio furniture. Keeping your landscaping clean could also have the added benefit of reducing stormwater runoff and helping prevent flooding.
Have a Sturdy Garage Door
If you want to invest some money, consider installing hurricane straps across all four sides of your garage door frame as well as hinge supports. These will help keep things in place during heavy winds. You may also want to look at replacing a damaged garage door or upgrading it with a high-quality version or brand.
Clean Your Gutters
Wet leaves or other debris can get caught in your gutters and cause water problems, so be sure to clean them regularly. You should also pay attention to any signs of a clog, such as dripping water from the gutter spouts or sagging gutters.
Reinforce Your Roof
Check for loose or missing shingles, shingle damage, and other things that could put your roof at risk. You should make sure to nail down all the roofing shingles, so there's no weak shingle left in place before the big storm. Also, make sure that the flashing is completely effective and in good condition. If you see some gaps in your flashing or if it is decaying, you can call a roofer to patch, reinforce, seal, or replace the flashing so you can stay safe during the next storm.
Invest in a Generator
In order to keep the essentials going in the event of power failure, it's best to have a standby generator. It's an essential part of a home emergency kit. So, consider investing in one to have electric power during an extended outage. You can even have small portable generators that can be sufficient to help you withstand storm effects. If you already have one, try to fuel it up and check if it runs smoothly ahead of the storm.
Store Emergency Supplies
Keep your emergency kit in a sealable plastic container near your front door. Include things like water, canned food, first aid supplies, batteries, candles and matches. And don't forget important documents like your insurance papers and copies of your driver's license and passport.
Remember that pets need their own supplies as well. All it takes is one heavy storm or hurricane to bring down power lines and internet connections for days or even weeks after a storm's gone. Keeping a few weeks' worth of water, canned food, and other basic supplies can really come in handy when you need it most.
Creating a home that's hurricane-proof doesn't mean you need to spend a fortune. Some simple renovations and retrofits, like installing shutters on your windows and having an extra drain tile, can keep your property safe and protected against damage in the event of another storm.