With hurricane season upon us, you’re likely bracing yourself (and your home) for some unpredictable and dangerous storms. Homes can be ripped apart by a hurricane’s powerful winds, hit with flying tree branches or projectiles, and flooded during heavy rains if the proper precautions aren’t taken. During a hurricane, your home has four vulnerable points: windows, garage, roof, and doors. In this blog, we’ll primarily focus on windows and how you can optimize this weak point ahead of the storm with specific hurricane windows and hurricane shutters to ensure the least damage.
Steps to Protect Your Home from Hurricanes
Trim your trees before the storm
It’s not just what’s in or on your home that can potentially cause damage during a hurricane. It’s also what’s around your home. Head outside and look around your yard. Do you see any trees that need to be trimmed? If you have low-hanging, heavy, or dead limbs that can be removed, this will help prevent them from becoming projectiles. Often, we see heavy trees going through people’s roofs or windows due to hurricane-force winds. Doing tree work ahead of time can help you to prevent damage to your home.
Minimize any objects outside your home
While you’re out in your yard, consider what else may become a projectile during the storm. Depending on the hurricane, you can witness anywhere from 75 MPH to 150 MPH winds. These winds will easily whip up patio furniture, children’s toys, flag poles, flowerpots, or anything else you have in your yard. Take the time now to secure anything or put it in your garage, so it won’t be loose in your yard.
Cover your windows before the hurricane
Outside of flood damage, window damage is the most common occurrence during hurricanes due to strong winds and projectiles. Open and broken windows can also cause water damage and contribute additional pressure on your home that blows off your roof. Covering your windows should be at the top of your list when preparing for a hurricane. When investing in hurricane protection, you have a few options:
- Accordion hurricane shutters: A series of small, linked panels that travel in a metal track; strong and durable; good for sliding glass doors and picture windows
- Impact hurricane windows: A window constructed with a durable laminate between glass panes
- Hurricane garage doors: An impact-resistant, wind-resistant garage door specifically designed to withstand hurricanes and other high windstorms
- Hurricane entry doors: A door made with impact-safe glass that’s difficult to break
Each of these options makes your home increasingly stormproof as they’re designed to be impact resistant. While you may see people in your area simply taping windows, this simply won’t reinforce them against the force winds enough for your safety.
Additionally, a large majority of homes damaged by winds do not have hurricane protection. Broken glass is not only a safety hazard, but strong winds that enter your home through a broken window or door will continue to wreak havoc on your home throughout the duration of the storm. Properly protecting your windows is the best way to secure your home, especially if you live near the coast.
Place sandbags around your entryways
If your home is in a flood-prone area, invest in sandbags or other flood-prevention devices. Using sandbags around your home’s entryways can help to prevent flood and expensive damage to your belongings. When you properly fill and place sandbags, they act as a barrier to divert moving water around, instead of through, your home. While it doesn’t guarantee a water-tight seal, it often works well enough to effectively prevent damage to belongings inside your home.
Consider what you’ll need once the hurricane is over
Your home is likely to take on at least some damage depending on the hurricane’s category. As such, we recommend taking inventory of your valuables and pictures of your home before the storm. Insurance companies will often ask for these to provide coverage for any damage.
Additionally, as you begin to prepare for the storm, move valuables to higher floors in your home and scan any important items to your phone or laptop and store them in the Cloud. This way, they’ll be accessible no matter where you are. If you have any valuables or documents you want to take with you in the event of an evacuation, be sure to place them in waterproof containers along with your stocked water and non-perishable foods.
When preparing for a hurricane, focus on the most vulnerable aspects of your home. Your windows are at the top of this list and securing them now with hurricane windows and hurricane shutters will ensure you save time and money after the storm is over.