After a record-breaking 2020 hurricane season, every homeowner in Florida should be preparing for hurricane damage this year. In this article, readers can find tips for keeping their damage to a minimum.
Hurricane season is making the news once again. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, many meteorologists are considering moving the Atlantic hurricane season start date from June 1 to May 15.
While there is currently no plan to make the change official this year, the fact that the conversation is even happening highlights the changing nature of the stormy season. In each of the past six years, storms have formed in May, and while not all of them have caused significant damage, some have.
It’s only March, but that only leaves a few months to get your home ready. If you want to mitigate hurricane damage to your property this year, here are a few things to consider doing.
Install Hurricane Windows
Hurricane windows, also known as impact windows, offer homeowners a higher level of protection than regular glass windows. This type of window is stronger than normal glass and is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and impacts from flying debris. You can also get a reduction from your windstorm insurance company for making the upgrade to a hurricane window protective system.
Prepare Your Hurricane Shutters
If you cannot afford to install hurricane windows in your home—they can be pretty expensive—then your next option is to install hurricane shutters. Shutters are designed specifically for high-powered storms and can offer more protection than plywood for a lower price than installing hurricane-resistant windows to your home. You have many options, from roll-down shutters to accordion-style shutters. By switching your current door with a wind-loaded garage door, which is reinforced with steel, you can significantly protect and harden one of the most exposed openings in your home and improve your policy rating with the carrier by not having an unprotected opening in your home. But you need to start the process soon as it takes a while to get custom shutters built for your home. You can also get a credit for storm shutters from your carrier. But, you need to start the process soon as it takes a while to get custom shutters built for your home.
Put in a Garage Door Brace
Your garage is one of the largest vulnerabilities in your home. By switching your current door with a wind-loaded garage door, which is reinforced with steel, you can significantly protect and harden one of the most exposed openings in your home and improve your policy rating with the carrier by not having an unprotected opening in your home. Installing a garage door brace can protect your home from hurricane damage. Again, you can get a credit from your carrier.
Trim Your Trees and Remove Debris and Objects from Your Yard
If your yard is full of trees, shrubs, and objects like old tiles or rocks from previous projects, now is the time for some good ole’ fashioned Spring Cleaning. These items can become missiles during a major wind event and cause significant damages to your home and that of your neighbors. Patio furniture and other outside temporary items (fountains, outside lighting, etc., need to be easily relocated to the inside of your home or secured close to the main structure of your home during a wind event, so make the necessary improvements to your home to be able to secure items close to the exterior walls like adding tie-down straps to hooks on the outside walls so you can strap down those loose items.)
Make Your Home Flood-Proof
Your homeowners insurance policy typically does not cover flood damage, so if you do not have flood insurance, you should consider purchasing a policy. Otherwise, you should do everything you can to prevent floodwater from entering your home. Make sure you can easily get access to sandbags to block all openings to your home when a flood event is closing in on your area(don’t forget about the base of your garage door. But, we highly recommend that you consider getting a flood policy if you live in the South Florida area!
Don’t Let Hurricane Damage Affect Your Home This Year
Now that you understand the importance of preparing your home for the 2021 hurricane season, don’t wait another moment to get started. With storms forming earlier and more frequently, you need to make sure you have everything in order before it’s too late. No amount of preparation is a waste of energy.
Contact our office right away to discuss a Hurricane plan that can keep you and your family safe and sound. We can also make an appointment to stop by your home to show you a few things you should consider before the storm approaches. We will also show you how to properly photograph your home now, to be ready to show your Carrier what your home looked like before it got impacted by a major wind storm event. Remember…it’s not what you say to them but what you can prove to them that makes sure you get proper coverage after your property has been damaged by a Hurricane, Wind Storm, or Flood!!! Keep my contact information handy in case you need to file a claim for hurricane damage this year. I am here to help, so contact me if you have any questions, and want to set up a free inspection of your home. We are here to help you stay safe and protect your most significant investment…YOUR HOME!!!