Have you been thinking about how to hurricane-proof your home for the next hurricane season? If you have, that’s good because we are getting more hurricanes blowing through South Florida in recent years, and they’re packing pretty solid, Cat-3 winds and higher.
Even with impact windows and doors in place, you still need to look around your home for weak spots and take steps to fix them. Read on for six tips on how to protect your house from a hurricane, tropical storms, and the countless nameless storms that come as regularly as snowbirds and spring training.
1. Check Doors and Windows for Structural Integrity
Even impact doors and windows will be worn down by repeated storms — or at least, the walls around them will. If they have been in place for 20 years, we strongly recommend that you schedule an inspection with us.
Check for things like drafts, leaks during rainstorms, and visible chips and cracks. Look at the weatherstripping used and replace it if it’s starting to wear. Check our FAQ for more information.
2. How to Protect Windows During Hurricane Season
As you know, windows are most vulnerable to storm damage. If you live in an older home that’s exempt from new impact window regulations, you really should look into installing hurricane-grade impact windows before the season comes!
Older windows should definitely have exterior shutters to protect them from projectiles that can shatter them. They’re pretty easy to install and you can even take them down, although the hardware that fastens them in place should be left up.
Don’t bother taping windows; this won’t bolster them at all and, in fact, may allow large shards to fly into the room, which are deadlier than tiny pieces of shattered glass. If you’re really worried about your windows and don’t have shutters, plywood does provide some protection.
3. Clean Up Your Yard Before Hurricane Season Hits
More people are killed or injured from debris that flies around during strong storms. Cleaning your yard before storms hit (and certainly after they do) can go a long way to preventing projectiles from getting picked up and aimed at your home or your neighbors’.
Take a look at your trees. Are some of those branches long and gangly? Or dying or dead? Take them down and dispose of them, or turn them into mulch or firewood.
Move lawn furniture inside before storms, or at least chain them in place.
4. Clear Out Downspouts and Gutters
Clogged gutters and downspouts created little waterfalls that always seem to pour down around windows. The force of the water weakens the walls around the windows and create cracks where it gets inside and pools. It also wears away at weatherstripping on windows.
5. Invest in a Sump Pump
If you have a basement or crawl space under your home, consider buying a sump pump. These pumps activate when water gets inside them, triggering the pumping mechanism and shooting water away from the building.
6. Be Prepared With Key Supplies
Don’t wait until everyone is mobbing the stores for supplies. Get these ahead of time, online if it’s easier.
- Batteries for your radio once the power goes out — you want to save your mobile charge
- Mobile phones chargers, including one for your car in case you have to evacuate
- A supply of nonperishable foods and water
- First aid kit
Knowing how to hurricane-proof your home is a part of life in South Florida. Gator or Seminole, you’ve got to be prepared!
If you’re thinking about installing impact doors and windows, contact us for a free consultation about our products, as well as financing options and rebates.