No homeowner can prevent hurricanes from occurring. However, any homeowner can equip their home for the possibility of a hurricane (or other natural disaster) and mitigate further damage following a catastrophic weather event. Knowing how to prepare your house for a hurricane and what to do in an emergency reveals your readiness and chance of navigating the recovery process successfully.
How To Prepare Your House For A Hurricane
As a homeowner, you can safeguard your home to reduce the likelihood of severe damage to your property.
Add Hurricane Clips/Straps
Hurricane clips/straps function as sheets of twisted metal connected to the beams of your roof and the tops of the walls. Strategically placed at the studs and rafters, these tie-downs ensure your roof does not fly away during a powerful hurricane.
Fix Roof Damage
Missing or broken roofing components (including shingles, tiles, vents, and flashing) compromise the integrity of your roof. Consequently, your home faces an increased risk of significant damage during a storm if these areas remain unresolved.
If a window becomes broken during a hurricane, your house becomes far more susceptible to interior damage. Avoid this outcome. Verify that your shutters work properly and fit securely. If you do not have impact-resistant windows, install them.
Install Hurricane-Resistant Doors
Hurricane-strength winds can easily damage a door that is not impact-resistant. Exterior doors should consist of solid wood or hollow steel. If not, install heavy-duty doors. If you intend to fortify doors and windows, use at least ⅝ inch-thick boards.
Perform Roof Inspection
Determine the risk of loss from a hurricane by retaining a certified roof inspector to evaluate your roofing system and provide a written report. Use these findings to conduct necessary repairs and verify that you have adequate insurance coverage.
Remove Non-Secure Elements From Your Property
Safely store outdoor items before an impending hurricane. Place patio furniture, grills, garbage bins, potted plants, and landscaping ornaments in an interior location to avoid potential damage from catching these items in a powerful wind gust.
Secure The Roof
The roof is the largest potential opening to your home. Wind and water intrusion through the roof can cause untold damage to your home’s interior. Reinforce your roof by strengthening its structural components, including the rafters and trusses.
Trim All Trees And Shrubs
By pruning vegetation (i.e., fragile tree branches and limbs), wind can pass through your property with minimal damage and debris upheaval. Loose branches and limbs frequently cause massive damage to homes, including windows, siding, and roofing.
Understand Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
Don’t wait until it is too late. Know what your policy covers in the event of a hurricane. Never assume your policy covers all forms of loss. Many policies have specific exclusions that require purchasing endorsements or separate policies.
Ways To Mitigate Roof Damage After A Hurricane
Following a hurricane, as a homeowner, you should take several proactive steps, including the following actions:
Capture Photographic And Recorded Evidence Of The Damage
Without crawling on top of your roof (due to safety concerns), prioritize taking photographs and recording any visible signs of damage. Create a written list of observed damage to your roofing system. This assessment will provide an accurate picture of the initial situation.
Contact Your Homeowners Insurance Provider
Immediately following a hurricane, prioritize calling your insurance agent to report a loss if you observe any visible signs of damage to your roofing system. Assuming your roof has experienced sufficient damage, you will also want to file a claim sometime in the process.
Prevent Damage To The Exterior Surface From Escalating
Proactively take steps to mitigate against further damage to your home. Involve a roofing contractor to cover the roof with a tarp and perform temporary repairs. Track invoices and receipts because reasonable expenses to protect your home and property may be reimbursable.
What To Do In Case Of A Roofing Emergency
If a damaging hurricane has impacted your home, make your first call to a reputable, local roofing company. A knowledgeable roofing professional will assess the overall situation and document everything you need. Additionally, they will make recommendations regarding what steps to take next. Finally, the contractor will secure your roof against further issues.
Never take your roof for granted. In Central Florida, homeowners face numerous adverse or catastrophic weather events annually. These occurrences can potentially cause substantial and irreparable damage to your roof. With over 35 years of experience in Central Florida’s roofing industry, Alan’s Roofing is known for fast, responsive service in any emergency.
At Alan’s Roofing, we are a certified, family-owned and operated business ready to handle any roof repair, restoration, or replacement project. We also are fully licensed and insured. Everyone who works for us is an employee, not a subcontractor. When you choose us, you receive the highest level of craftsmanship and customer service. Contact us today to learn more.