For most of us, our home is our largest investment. Protecting our home is a priority when we are faced with a natural disaster like a hurricane. Of course, we can’t control Mother Nature. We can, however, take steps to protect our home. Here are 10 ways to prepare your home for a hurricane.
NOAA predicts a 70% chance of 10 to 16 named storms in 2016. At least 4 to 8 of those storms could become hurricanes. NOAA also predicts 1 to 4 major hurricanes, which include Category, 3, 4, or 5 storms. Although it is impossible to predict whether we will have a hurricane or if it will hit us, we can take steps to secure our home.
And remember, once the storm hits, you can’t physically save things. It’s not as if you can hold the door closed to prevent water from coming in or lay on your shingles to prevent 100mph winds from ripping them off. Your life is always most important. Evacuate if you need to.
Here are 10 things you can do before the hurricane hits to make sure your home is protected.
Review Your Insurance Policy
Take the time to review your policy and to speak with your insurance agent. Not only do you need the coverage to replace the contents of your home, but you also need coverage to rebuild your home. Also, check to make sure that hurricane damage is covered under your policy.
Consider Flood Insurance
Many policies cover the cost of replacing your home as a result of hurricane damage but do not cover the flooding that comes with the storm surge. For example, much of the damage done by Hurricane Sandy involved flooding. Check with your insurance adjuster about purchasing flood insurance. Remember, flood insurance takes 90 days to become active. Do this before hurricane season or as soon as possible.
Inventory Your Property
Take an inventory of the items in your home, especially big-ticket items like big-screen TVs and collector’s items. If you have to make an insurance claim, you will need proof of what you lost. The best way to do that is to take photos or videos of everything that you own before the storm hits. Also, write down information about your possessions, such as the manufacturer and serial number. If you have them, take photos of receipts for your more expensive items.
Secure and Seal Your Roof
In a storm, your roof is usually a primary source of entry. Think about it. In a rainstorm, your roof takes most of the pounding. Make sure that all cracks are sealed. Seal all vents. Also, replace any shingles or tiles that are loose or damaged by engaging roofing companies in Denver or your vicinity. You might also want to consider having the roof deck sealed.
Consider Adding Roof Straps
In some states, including Florida, builders are required to attach a home’s roof to the walls with metal straps. If you have an attic, these straps can be added to your house for around $750.
Secure Porches and Carport
Porches and carports can be easily picked up and thrown into your house during a hurricane. They can also become projectiles hitting other homes. Make sure that posts supporting your porch or carport are firmly anchored to the ground.
Seal Window and Doors
Check the seals around your windows and doors. Typical wear and tear – especially in hot climates – can damage seals. Leaky seals around doors and windows can allow that sideways rain to come in. In most insurance policies, damage from wind-driven rain is excluded unless the direct force of Hurricane, other Wind, or Hail damages the building or structure causing an opening in the roof or wall. So, if you think the windows are too shaky and damaged, it is better to hire a company that does window replacement in Denver (or one which is local to you) to help you be cautious.
Seal Holes in Siding and Roofs
Wherever there are cable lines, phone lines, or gas lines coming into your house, they made a hole. You can seal these holes by using caulk you can buy for a few dollars at most home-improvement stores.
Bring in Your Lawn Furniture
Just like a storm can launch your carport, hurricanes can also turn your patio furniture into missiles. Any items that can be picked up by strong winds — your grill, lawn furniture, or garden gnomes — should be stored indoors. Don’t forget to bring in your potted plants. You certainly don’t want your grandmother’s fern to end up in your neighbor’s kitchen.
Reinforce Your Garage Door
Your garage doors can blow off. They can also blow up into an attic above. You can hire a garage builder to customize your garage to withstand any natural calamity. Regular repair and renovation may also help in maintaining structural quality and efficiency. Moreover, you can strengthen your existing garage door by installing vertical garage door braces and horizontal wooden beams. You can look up the internet for some garage door coupons to help reduce some of the expenses that you would have to incur for this overhaul.
These are only a few ideas for securing your home. You can do further research to learn about other various methods to safeguard your property during hurricanes. If your home is damaged or destroyed, you may need help with your insurance claim. That’s where we come in.