Prevent Hurricane Damage to Your Home Before the Storm

Posted in: Personal Insurance

Since every summer, many regions of the U.S. are affected by severe thunderstorms and high winds, we wanted to provide some advice on how to best prepare for inclement weather conditions and protect you and your home. This post focuses on preventive measures you can take to help reduce exposure to hurricane losses and wind damage related to your home. Experts advise directing your risk control efforts and prevent hurricane damage on four parts of your home – roof and rain gutters, windows, entry doors, and garage doors.

Roof and Rain Gutters

  • Inspect your roof and rain gutters periodically to ensure water flows freely down rainspouts and away from your home.
  • Make sure the sheathing on your roof complies with local building codes. In wind-prone areas, many buildings codes require six nails per shingle rather than four.
  • If your home is in a hurricane-prone area, properly installed clips will enable your roof to withstand winds up to 100 m.p.h. Hire a roofer to add galvanized steel hurricane clips to connect the rafters to the roof at the top of the house, and the bottom part of the house to a plate that is bolted to the slap.
  • Trim large trees and shrubs to avoid damage to your roof, gutters, or other parts of your home in the event of high winds.

Windows

  • If your home is in a hurricane-prone area, install impact-resistant shutters over all large windows and glass doors. They protect your doors and windows from wind-borne objects. Plus they can reduce damage caused by sudden pressure changes when a window or door is broken.
  • As an alternative, use impact-resistant windows and patio doors.
  • For last-minute protection, nail plywood to your window frames.

Entry Doors

  • Purchase solid wood or hollow metal doors for maximum wind resistance.
  • Choose doors with at least three hinges and a dead bolt lock.

Garage Doors

  • For a doublewide door, consider purchasing a retrofit kit to reinforce your garage door by installing horizontal and/or vertical bracing onto each panel.
  • For singlewide and doublewide doors, consider installing heavy-duty hinges.

In addition, it’s always important to take a good look at the area outside your home to help avoid additional hazards. For example, have a tree specialist inspect your trees periodically and remove dead limbs and branches (or an entire dying tree) before they can endanger your home. And make sure all outdoor items that aren’t bolted down, such as patio furniture and trash cans, are secured so they won’t become projectiles that can do damage to your home. Move any household fixtures or valuable art away from windows and doors, and store them in interior closets and cabinets to evade potential water damage. To prevent any type of electrical danger, unplug small appliances and turn off propane tanks.

Contact Us

For imminent storms, check out our Hurricane checklist for more helpful tips so you and your family can prepare for when a storm’s a-brewin’ in your neighborhood. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your personal risk management needs, contact me at EAzwalinsky@psafinancial.com.