If you’ve lived in Florida for any time, you know hurricanes are a part of life. No matter what we do, we can never prevent them from hitting our area, but we can, however, take necessary precautions to limit the amount of damage our house takes from the storm.
From boarding up windows to securing loose outdoor objects, here is how to prepare your home for a hurricane in central Florida.
Your roof is usually the first part of your home to sustain damage from a hurricane. Once your roof takes enough damage and allows the heavy rain and winds to get a foothold in your home, the rest of your home’s foundation can easily be torn apart. You can reduce potential roof damage by strapping down your home’s roof to the frame of the house using special hurricane straps or clips. These straps can be easily purchased and added to your home, saving you potential damage and helping to prevent the hurricane from ripping through your home.
To prevent damage to your windows and doors, be sure to seal all doors and windows of your home. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) recommends using plywood that is 5/8 inch thick. Cut each panel of wood so it will extend at least one inch beyond the framing on all sides of the window. To secure the boards, you can use either window clips or screws. If you use screws, be sure to use corrosion-resistant screws that are long enough to reach at least 2 inches into the framing, and drill them into the plywood and your wall every 12 to 16 inches apart.
If you have a brick, stone, or stucco house, the process for boarding your windows will be very similar, however, you will instead secure the boards on the inside of your window frame instead of the outside.
If plywood sells out everywhere, you can also use insulation board, oriented strand board, or polycarbonate panels to safely and effectively board your home.
Keeping your drains and gutters clear of debris is especially important during hurricane season. Clearing your gutters ensures rainwater can drain efficiently and doesn’t back up or overflow and cause flooding or other water damage.
A hurricane’s high winds can turn your outdoor items into deadly projectiles. To prevent any of your outdoor items from tearing through your home or injuring anyone, bring all patio furniture, decorations, pots, and other items inside your home during the hurricane. If you have large items such as trampolines, swings, or playsets, disassemble them and bring them indoors.
In addition to preparing your home for a hurricane, make sure you are also prepared for the aftermath with storm and flood damage insurance.
Hurricanes bring with them intense wind that can easily blow down even large trees. If there are trees around your property, trim long and excess branches, and any overgrown shrubs. This helps your trees and plants resist the wind, saving your trees and reducing the chances of damage from falling or windblown limbs. Tying down trees and shrubs will also help prevent them from being uprooted by the wind.
Even with all this preparation, damage can occur to your home. When that happens, call us immediately at (863) 647-1800 to begin the restoration and repair process. We help repair homes from storm and water damage in central Florida and nearby coastal communities.
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