How to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season
Home preparation for the hurricane season actually begins with obtaining proper insurance coverage. When you’re getting home insurance quotes in North Carolina(or in other states for that matter), you need to make sure you’re covered for possible problems you may encounter, such as wind damage and floods. You have to account for the full cost of rebuilding your home, and not just focus on the value of your home.
In many cases, flood coverage is a separate policy from your standard home insurance plan. Talk to your insurance provider regarding the coverage of your home in case of floods, and consider obtaining a separate policy for flood insurance even if your area doesn’t have a history of flooding due to hurricanes. There’s always a first time for everything.
However, even if you do have ample insurance coverage you should still try to minimize the damage a hurricane may bring to your home. Here are some tips that can help you properly prepare before the next big hurricane arrives:
Check Your Roof
Having “a roof over your head” isn’t just a nice turn of phrase. The roof is actually the most important part of your house to inspect before a hurricane comes in. It’s the biggest potential opening to your home, and it can let in wind and water that can do a lot of damage.
You should have a pro inspect your roof for any sort of damage. The shingles and tiles must be checked, and they must be secured. None of them should be missing or cracked. If you have these problems, they should be fixed right away.
If you will fix your roof extensively, you should consider paying an extra $500 to make sure the roof deck is sealed. Keeping the water out is your top priority. You should also add roof straps so that you don’t just rely on gravity to keep your roof in place. Clean your gutters as well, as debris-laden gutters will cause the rainwater to overflow and damage your roof and siding.
Secure Your Carports and Porches
Once you’ve secured your roof, you then have to think about other parts of your home that may be blown away by strong winds. This means you should make sure that the posts supporting your carports and porches are all firmly anchored to the ground.
Check Other Potential Spots Where Water Can Get In
This means checking your doors and windows for the most part. These should be properly sealed, but in hot climates the seals may get damaged over time. You should also seal the holes made by cables and other electrical wires coming into the side of your home. For this, you can just use caulk, which is quite inexpensive and readily available in many home-improvement stores.
While you’re at it, check your sump pumps and drains as well. Make sure they’re working, and have some backup batteries ready.
Prepare Your Landscaping
It’s best if you hire an arborist for this task, as they will have the knowledge and experience to protect your landscaping from damage. They can then trim the trees and shrubs, and perhaps tie them down to keep them from uprooting. You also may want to replace the gravel on your drive or paths with shredded bark, as the wind may blow the gravel and cause damage to your home.
If you have outdoor furniture and other knickknacks like garden gnomes, it’s time to pack them inside. You don’t want the wind to blow these things through your windows.
See if you can get a portable home generator, so that if the power goes down you still have enough to power your fridge. Have some lights handy, and make sure you have a first aid kit.