Hurricane Preparation Tips for Homeowners
Learn how to prepare your home for the Florida Hurricane Season
With Hurricane Season in full swing, we’re reminded of the arduous work it takes to prepare a home for an approaching hurricane. From hanging shutters to gathering supplies, hurricane preparation can be a stressful and daunting task. But taking action before a storm hits can help protect your family and reduce property damage.
Here are a few ways you can reduce damage to your home as a storm approaches:
Close All Doors and Windows
A hurricane’s high winds can tear through a house and build upward pressure on the roof. Closing all interior and exterior doors and windows will help corral the pressure inside of the home and reduce the pressure on your roof, helping keep your house intact.
Shutter All Openings
Another way to prevent wind pressure inside your home is by securing shutters on all windows and exterior doors, including garage doors, or installing impact-resistant windows which provide protection without the need for shutters. Make sure that one or more doors are accessible exits should they be needed. Like many critical supplies, shutters are difficult to purchase once a starts heading your way so it’s important to purchase and install shutter hardware prior to the start of Hurricane Season. Labeling all shutters will speed up the installation process.
Plywood can provide protection in the event shutters are not available, if installed correctly. (However, taping windows will not provide any protection and should be avoided.) When using plywood, purchase ½ to ¾-inch CDX plywood in 4 ft. x 8 ft. sheets. Plywood should not be used to cover openings larger than this unless additional framing is added. Note: Two layers of 3/8-inch plywood will have the same effect as one ¾-inch layer. Orient Strand Board (OSB) is not recommended. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety provides helpful guidelines when selecting shutters and other protective materials for your home.
Remove Debris and Trim Trees
During a hurricane, anything left outside that is not secured has the potential to be a projectile. This includes tree branches. Trimming damaged or dead branches, and branches near the roof eliminate the risk of damage. If you notice branches close to power lines, contact FPL to trim these branches as they are often the main cause of downed power lines during a storm. Never attempt to trim a branch near a wire. All debris should be collected, and outdoor furniture should be brought inside.
Trees should also be checked for their resistance to potential storms. Decayed or shallow-rooted trees can easily become uprooted during a storm. Here are a few tips on how to determine if a tree is at risk of being a threat during a storm.
Inspect Your Roof
A sturdy, strong roof is a safe roof. Wind and rain can get through a damaged roof, seeping into your home and potentially causing harm. Determine the strength of your roof by inspecting the roof cover, penetrations, off-ridge vents, ridge vents, and look for leaks in areas outside of the home, like the chimney, and from inside the house. Use this list to see what you should look for in each of these areas.
If your roof is in need of replacement, here are a few steps to take from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety to make sure you’re getting the strongest roof possible:
- Remove the original roof covering and underlayment to expose the roof deck.
- Inspect the roof deck for damage, replace damaged sections to provide a durable nailing surface.
- Re-fasten the roof deck (staples are not permitted; ring shank nails are ideal).
- Seal the roof deck. A roof deck with the seams sealed helps keep water out if the roof cover is lost or damaged.
- Replace roof-mounted vents with vents that meet Florida Building Code Test Standard TAS 100(A). These vents resist wind and water intrusion.
- Install metal drip edge at all eaves and rakes to keep wind-driven rain out.
- Install flashing.
- Install new, high-wind rated roof covering per the manufacturer’s high-wind installation requirements.
Take action now to perform preventive maintenance inspections and repairs on your roof before and after a major storm hits. Advanced Roofing, Inc. is here to help. Call us at (561) 571-5556 or click here to have your roof inspected and documented so you are prepared this Hurricane Season.