We’re currently in the midst of hurricane season. Whether you’re from the coast or you live inland, you’ve no doubt heard of the devastating effects of these storms. And, while long-time Floridians know how to anticipate turbulent weather, snowbirds and newbies to the area should do their due diligence to minimize damages if they find themselves in the eye of the storm. If you’ve recently migrated down south, I have some tips on how to prepare your home for what we expect to be another windy and rainy season.
Protect your windows.
Windows are one of the most prone to storm damage on a house. To prevent minimal impact, install storm shutters, which help block wind and water. There are several options available from rolling and accordion style shutters to bahama shutters, which can be stowed out of sight but comes with a higher price tag.
If your budget allows, install high-impact windows, which remain intact from debris and winds of up to 150 miles per hour and help prevent water intrusion. Homes constructed today near the coast require impact windows. If your home is older, consider investing in some. Even though they’re costly, they can help lower your insurance premium and save you from having to replace or restore your home’s interior.
Replace your garage door.
Like windows, a garage is a large space that leaves your home exposed for destruction. Swap your door with a hurricane-resistant one. These door types are equipped with steel reinforcements and extra hardware that add strength and durability against strong wind and pressure.
If you don’t want a complete replacement, mount some removable metal panels made of steel and aluminum before a storm approaches. Vertical storm braces are also available for temporary installation.
Secure your lawn items.
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack away your yard flamingos and patio furniture. If you don’t have space for storage, weigh them down or tie them up to keep them secured. These measures will minimize any possible debris that can fly in the wind and potentially through your windows. Also, cut down dead tree branches in our yard that are likely to break and blow away in the wind.
It’s likely your home insurance policy doesn’t have protection for flood or hurricane damage, unless you request it. Without it, some damages from a storm may not be covered. Do your homework and explore your options. Check out my tips on determining the right home insurance policy for you.
Hurricane season always approaches with unexpected events. No storm is created equal. Some seasons in West Florida see heavy rains, while others bring devastation. Whatever is to come, it’s important your home is prepped and protected. If you’re thinking of selling your home, make sure it is hurricane-protected, as some homebuyers may expect such upgrades to be in place, or they may request upgrades when negotiating their offer. If you’re house hunting, work with a Realtor who can guide you on what hurricane-proof features to look for. To get started, reach me today at AmyChapman@michaelsaunders.com.