There’s only one way to survive a hurricane…flee!
But what happens to your beautiful home when you’re gone? Do you let Mother Nature have her way? The shocking images of the sheer destruction left in the wake of Katrina, Irma and other hurricanes can lead you to believe that you can’t do much to protect your home. However, it is possible to minimize the damage occasioned by these catastrophic forces of nature. Let us show Mother Nature who’s boss.
- Doors and Windows
The notion that you should leave your doors and windows open to equalize the pressure indoors and outdoors is a myth. Doing this will only allow debris into your house causing even more damage. Ensure all entry points are locked up. Here are some tips for doing this.
- Garage door
Reinforce your garage door by purchasing and installing a garage door reinforcement kit.
Install high-end hurricane shutters or make some yourself using plywood. Make sure to use ½ inch to ¾ inch plywood sheets.
To stand up to hurricane winds, your doors must be made from hollow steel or solid wood. For more protection, install an extra hinge for all doors and a deadbolt with a bolt throw of about an inch. If you have double doors, make sure to install footer and header bolts to provide additional anchor.
The roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of your house during a hurricane. If you roof is blown away, the structural integrity of your house is at risk. You should prepare your roof by:
- Reinforce Gables
If you have a gabled roof, install braces to anchor the trusses to adjacent ones. This is because gabled roofs are susceptible to caving in during storms. Make sure all trusses are nailed down securely by adding nails where necessary.
- Reinforce Soffits
Soffits can easily be torn away by hurricane winds if they don’t have reinforcement. To protect your soffit, apply polyurethane sealant along the soffit channel in the space where the wall and fascia material meet.
- Secure Shingles
Inspect your roof for any loose shingles and adhere them with quick drying roofing cement. Shingles near the edge of the roof and at the gable ends are most susceptible to being blown off by winds.
Once you’ve secured all areas of the house, you can now move to the outdoors. Ignoring this area of your property can be a huge mistake. Some of landscaping elements of your backyard can cause untold damage to your house during a hurricane. Guard your home by doing the following:
If you have any tall trees close enough to your home to fall on the house, have them removed. You should also trim the branches of overhanging trees to prevent them from damaging your roof.
Gravel can easily be picked up by a storm and cause significant damage to your windows and house siding. Remove all decorative gravel lying around your property. You can replace it with mulch, which is more hurricane friendly.
- Other Tips
If you have sheds and other building that don’t have a permanent foundation, you should install straps or ground anchors to keep them on the ground when the hurricane comes. You can also build temporary water barriers with sandbags for areas around the home susceptible to flooding.