A hurricane’s high winds and torrential rains put unprepared homes at great risk of significant damage. Help prevent hurricane damage to your property by securing or reinforcing important areas of your home and grounds.
Before a hurricane strikes, move garbage cans, patio furniture, grills, and other potentially wind-borne objects inside your home or garage. Consider replacing gravel or rock landscaping materials with shredded bark. Store vehicles you plan to leave behind in a garage or other enclosure. Moor boats securely. If your boat is ashore in a jack stand, strap the boat down when possible. If you have a pool, cover the pump filter. Anchor garage doors.
• Windows: For the best protection, install impact-resistant permanent shutters that meet state building code approved standards. You can also install permanent fasteners so protective panels (such as plywood) can be quickly put in place. To offer adequate protection, plywood panels should be at least 3⁄4" thick.
• Doors: Consider installing hurricane-resistant entry doors. All entry doors should have three hinges and a dead bolt lock with at least a one-inch bolt throw length. Door framing should be securely anchored to the wall structure using fasteners that are at least 3 inches long. If you have double-entry doors, secure the inactive door with head and foot bolts that extend through the door header and into the subfloor. Patio doors should be made of tempered glass. Shuttering doors offers extra protection.
• Garage Doors: Consider installing a hurricane-resistant garage door, or have a steel bracing kit installed to help support the door against wind pressure. You can also protect your garage door with a shutter or screen rated for wind pressure and debris impact. The garage door industry strongly recommends that any determination concerning the need to reinforce or replace a garage door be based on an inspection by a trained door systems technician or a qualified professional engineer. Adding weight to a garage door in the form of reinforcement may require an adjustment to or replacement of the door’s counterbalance system. Only a trained door systems technician should perform the adjustments or replacement. An inspection may find that other improvements should be made to an existing door, and if the door is old or damaged, replacement with a stronger door system may be recommended.
Hurricane-force winds can cause shingles to peel off, especially if edge shingles are not well-secured or the adhesive on their tabs has failed. A roofing professional can evaluate your roof, and, if needed, set additional roofing cement under each tab to help keep shingles attached during a high wind event.
To help anchor the soffits to your home, apply a bead of polyurethane sealant between the wall and the trim into which the soffit panels are inserted. You can also apply a dollop of caulk in the V-shaped hole where the joint between two soffit panels meets the trim.
Any cracks or holes where cables, pipes, or wires enter the home should be sealed with caulk. More Information For more information on protecting your home from a hurricane, visit the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) or the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).
If you have any questions, please contact your local insurance agent.