As Houstonians, we are no stranger to the dangers of hurricane season and property damage. The season begins on June 1 each year and around the apex of the season in mid-September. Residents near the Gulf Coast find themselves on high alert for the impact of high winds and dangerous flood waters.
While vigilance can only go so far during a natural disaster, it is best to be prepared. Before you evacuate, here are the early steps you can take to “hurricane proof” your property as much as possible.
Preventing Property Damage
Use a Window Film
Safety and security window films are not a complete replacement for advisable shutters or storm panels. However, this is an extra step that you can take to protect your property’s windows. Window film is a polyester film that goes on top of your existing window panes. This reinforces the glass as an added protective measure. This is a more accessible answer to impact-resistant glass that homeowners can access easily. Window films keep the shape of the glass in place and prevent the window from shattering. Avoiding this means avoiding shattered glass caught in the high speed winds of a storm.
Shield Your Windows With Plywood
The always trusty, well-placed piece of plywood can save you a lot of grief. Boarding up your windows ahead of a storm helps the panes avoid total destruction in the face of a storm. While it may seem like an obvious solution, plywood is still one of the toughest materials on the market.
Some tips for covering your windows with plywood include:
- Use plywood that is at least ⅝” wide.
- Cut your piece of plywood to be at least 5” longer than your window on all sides.
- Use a sealant to waterproof your plywood.
Add Storm Shutters
If covering up your windows with plywood feels too last minute or too crafty for your tastes, consider having permanent storm shutters added to your property. While there are many different types of shutters, it is important to pick a style that is most catered to your needs. While protection is the most important for both your property and your family, the array of styles available ensures that you won’t have to compromise your home’s curb appeal or overall look.
Reinforce Your Roof
Reinforcing your roof may sound expensive, but there are smaller projects to consider before beginning to budget to replace it entirely. While hurricane clips are more popular in Florida than in Texas, they could be the answer for a homeowner who wants a little extra protection when facing hurricane season. A hurricane clip is a metal fastener that braces the roof of a building to the walls of the building in order to prevent the roof lifting off during high speed winds.
Reinforce Your Flashing
Roof flashing is the thin metal that is installed on your roof where the architecture could prevent water from flowing smoothly off of the roof. It is very important in valleys and in the seams where chimneys meet the roof itself. Making sure that yours is in top shape before a rainy season could prevent severe water damage in the future.
Ask About Home Improvement Insurance Discounts Before Property Damage Occurs
While all of the aforementioned steps taken to prevent your home from facing the brunt of hurricane season are important alone, you could also be eligible for a home insurance discount once you have successfully hurricane proof your home. In some cases, making your roof more wind resistant can lower your insurance premium by 10-15%, and an entirely new roof could lower your premium by up to 20%.
Taking the necessary steps for property damage prevention can help your finances and overall preparedness now and later.