Waiting until they are tracking the storm…? Here are ways you can start preparing your home now!
Hurricane season is quickly approaching, and now is the perfect time to ensure that your home is ready for any major storm that heads Tampa’s way. Between June 1st and November 30th, hurricane season can bring as many as 25-30 predicted name hurricanes through the Gulf of Mexico.
Onsite Restoration knows all too well how a storm can affect one’s life for months, if not years after the storm has passed. While you cannot control the weather, you can certainly mitigate potential costly damage to your home with some basic prep work.
Prepare your home for hurricane season now with these easy tips…
How to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season
When a storm is on its way, it’s likely too late to do basic home prep. Here’s how to best protect your home from even the worst of storms:
1. Locate Your Home’s “Shut-offs”
Every homeowner—and renter—should know where the water, gas, and electricity shut-offs are located. If you do not know where they are, take the time to locate them. This is a key part of your hurricane home preparation.
You should always wait to turn off your gas until local officials tell you to do so, but it’s a good precaution to know where to find it in case of emergencies.
2. Prevent Power Surges
Power surges can occur in an instant during a storm causing damage to your electronics and appliances. The good news is that you can prevent power surges to your home before a storm hits.
Living in Florida, you may want to add a power surge protector to your electrical panel. You can also protect your heating and air conditioning system from power surges with special protection.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect against power surges is to buy power strips with built-in surge protectors to protect your appliances and electronics from surge damage. Just be careful not to overload them with everyone’s chargers.
During a storm, unplug your electrical appliances. This prevents potential damage from a power surge when the electricity comes back on.
3. Seal Windows And Doors
Make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed from any potential water damage. Not only will this make your home more energy-efficient, but it will stop any potential leaks and protect your windows and doors during heavy wind and rain.
If the seals on your doors and windows are overly worn, you may want to replace them before storm season starts. This helps to significantly reduce your chances of water damage inside the walls of your house. If a big window replacement project has been on the list for a while, you can look into Florida’s PACE program for assistance, or call our local experts.
4. Check Your Roof
Make sure to inspect your roof before a hurricane hits. You can do this yourself, but we suggest having a professional come out.
Check your roof for any weak spots, leaks, or loose shingles. Particular areas of concern are typically near skylights, chimneys, flashing, or any roof valleys. If there are any leaks in your roof, they will likely only get worse during severe weather and constant rain.
While you are up on your roof, clean out your gutters (or again call in a pro) to make sure that water has somewhere to drain properly.
5. Remove Debris and Large Objects
Flying debris is one of the most serious issues when it comes to hurricane damage but is also one of the easiest to prevent.
Look around your yard. Anything can become an airborne projectile during a strong storm. This includes lawn furniture, toys, play structures, and low-hanging branches or limbs.
After cutting back, removing, or pruning branches, limbs, or trees that may damage your property or home, you may also want to move or secure smaller, lightweight objects such as potted plants, benches, wind chimes, etc.
6. Protect Your Windows
Protecting your windows from airborne projectiles and strong winds is essential during a hurricane-grade storm.
If you already have hurricane shutters, take a moment to make sure you have all the pieces and equipment needed. Take some time to review how to install them. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure it out if you have never done it before.
If you do not own hurricane shutters, you will want to start stocking up on plywood (grab some sandbags too while you’re at it) to prepare for a hurricane. Once a hurricane path is projected to come near your home, supplies will go fast and may cost more money as the demand rises.
7. Gather Important Documents Now
Make sure to gather all your important documents, including your insurance policies and IDs, and make sure that they are up-to-date. You will want to make sure you can easily access these documents— if and when the time arises.
Make copies of all your important documents and place them in a waterproof case or cover and keep copies in a password-protected digital space. Having them available online takes the worry out of wondering what will happen if they get wet or destroyed during a storm.
Now is the time to review your existing insurance policy. You will want to make sure your most valuable items will be covered if there is damage or loss. If you live in a flood zone or are in an area prone to flooding, make sure your policy includes flood insurance.
Need Help Preparing For Hurricane Season?
At Onsite Restoration, we have seen it all when it comes to damage and we can help make sure your home is ready to withstand a hurricane or tropical storm. Whether you are looking to upgrade your siding, windows, or doors with hurricane-grade materials before a storm or you are looking for assistance with storm damage restoration after one hits Tampa Bay, look no further.
Our certified technicians are available 24/7, 365 days a year to assist you with your home’s hurricane needs. If you are in Hillsborough, Pasco, or Pinellas County, contact Onsite Restoration at 813-579-5789. Our local contractors would be happy to discuss how to properly prepare your home for a hurricane.