Your home may be the biggest investment you ever make. Take steps to protect it from fire and natural disasters. During a hurricane, your home may withstand strong winds, storm surge, heavy rainfall, and possibly tornadoes. Such a storm can cause major damage to your home. Here are some strategies to help you prepare your home for hurricane season.

Install High-Impact Glass

If you live in an area that experiences high winds, invest in windows constructed with high-impact glass. Winds can carry tree branches and other debris and send them crashing into your home. Regular window glass will shatter on impact leaving dangerous shards of glass and letting rain into your home.

Consider upgrading your windows to either tempered glass or laminated glass for more protection from a storm. Laminated glass is two panes of glass with a thin film of vinyl between them. If the glass is broken, it will shatter, but the vinyl inside holds the shards in place. Tempered glass is another option. This glass is heat-treated and many times stronger than standard window glass. Tempered glass is a good option because if it does break, it crumbles into small pieces instead of shards with sharp edges.

To further protect windows, install storm shutters or pieces of plywood when you know a hurricane is coming.

Protect the HVAC System

Before hurricane season arrives, make sure the HVAC unit is securely bolted down. Purchase and install a cage that is designed to protect the system during bad weather. When a storm is approaching, cover the HVAC unit by securing a tarp over the cage. Keep trees and shrubs near the home trimmed to reduce the chance that a large limb will damage the HVAC system.

Clean Gutters to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season

During a hurricane, heavy rainfall can damage your property, especially if the gutters and downspouts are clogged. When water cannot flow freely through the channels, it will be redirected toward your home’s foundation. Overflowing gutters can cause water to run behind the siding, seep beneath the roofing materials, and damage the landscaping. To be better prepared, clean the guttering of your home.

Inspect the Foundation

Cracks in the foundation can lead to flooding during heavy rains. A structural inspection will find problems so you can remedy them before bad weather arrives. Repairing damage will strengthen your home, helping it withstand harsh weather.

Invest in Flood Insurance

Flooding isn’t covered in most standard insurance policies. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, invest in flood insurance. Floods and water damage are leading culprits for structural problems in a home. Flood insurance can be costly, but you can sometimes find discounted rates if you have flood-mitigation measures in place for your home.

Protect Appliances to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season

Storms are a leading cause of electrical surges and power outages. Both can damage your household appliances. Invest in surge protectors to protect your appliances and electronics during a storm. When bad weather is predicted, unplug any electronics or appliances that are not in use. Doing so will help protect them from surges when the storm passes through.

Nico Home Inspections provides home inspections, including wind mitigation inspections, to Southeast Florida. Contact us to schedule our services.