Hurricane season has officially arrived here in Florida. A home in Florida, especially one on the coast, can potentially be in harm’s way of gusty winds, strong rain, flooding, and more. Thankfully, there are quick and easy ways to prepare your home.
Now is the time to ensure your home is protected during hurricane season; here are some steps you can take now to be more prepared when a storm hits.
Landscaping is one of the easiest ways to start preparing for hurricane season. Many choose to take care of their own lawn, but when it comes to identifying and correcting any landscaping that poses a threat to your property, an arborist or landscaping company is your best bet:
- Consider replacing gravel or rocks with a less destructive material like bark or mulch in case of high winds. If picked up, these materials can damage your home.
- Trim large tree branches near your home.
- Identify any dead or unhealthy trees on your property to remove.
- Have trees with dense canopies thinned to improve wind resistance.
Secure and Seal Your Roof
Securing your roof is a must here in Florida. Roof damage, such as loose shingles, or holes, can not only cause costly damage to your roof, but also puts the rest of your home at high risk for leaks or debris damage. For your roof, it is important you:
- Nail down loose tiles or shingles that can potentially be blown away.
- Check for any signs of rusting on a metal roof.
- Consider hiring a professional roofer to install hurricane straps and brace gable ends.
- If you find your roof needs replacing, it’s a good idea to install a backup water barrier underneath for extra protection.
If you make any improvements to your roof, make sure to schedule a wind mitigation inspection to potentially lower your home insurance premiums.
Seal Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are another pricey area to replace if damaged. Follow these easy steps to keep doors and windows protected:
- Be sure to check all door hinges for missing or loose screws, or consider replacing current screws with longer, more durable screws.
- Install a vertical garage door brace.
- Check window and door seals to see if any need caulking.
Reassess Insurance Policies
Now would be a good time to review your home insurance policy and see what kind of flood and wind protection you have. Flood insurance does not often come standard with a home insurance policy and a 30-day waiting period for it is not uncommon.
Conduct a Home Inventory
Take precautions to document your belongings now for insurance purposes to make sure you have adequate coverage and make the claim process easier in the event of a loss. You can easily do this by:
- Taking photos
- Taking video
- Paper Documentation
Readying your home for a hurricane before you are in the path of a storm will bring peace of mind and help you focus on tasks like stowing your grill and patio furniture, gathering supplies you will need to weather a storm or planning your evacuation route in the event of an impending hurricane.