Monday, January 15, 2018

Tips to Hurricane Proof Your Home

hurricane proof your home

Every coastal resident knows the stress and panic that accompanies an approaching hurricane. While evacuating family and pets is necessary in some situations, you’ll want to do everything possible to hurricane proof your home.

Hurricane season may be months away, but it’s never too early to begin hurricane proofing your home. Get a head start preparing your house for hurricane season with these tips.

Protect windows and doors

Windows and doors are the most vulnerable spots in your house and need extra protection during a storm. Install specialized storm shutters or impact-resistant glass to prevent them from shattering. If the glass is broken, it could hurt the people or pets inside of your home as well as let in wind and rain.

Garage doors are also weak points for strong winds. Brace the door or install garage doors that are built to withstand the pressure.  

Clean up your yard

When strong gusts of wind blow through your yard, they can uproot trees and move outdoor furniture. Prune dead branches and cut back any limbs that have grown close to your house. Overhanging branches or dead tree limbs could easily fall onto your roof in the event of a storm.

Patio furniture, grills, and other heavy items should also be moved from the yard. Make sure all tools and sharp objects are securely stored in a shed instead of lying near the back door.

Design your house properly

Although many of us don’t get the luxury of building our own custom home, modifications can be made to existing homes to help them withstand storms. One important consideration is uplift, which occurs when strong gusts of wind blow the roof off of a house. Many houses are equipped with code-mandated fasteners that are designed to protect the house from quite literally being torn apart.

Your location and type of construction will determine the fasteners you use, which range from tie-down, embedded connectors, lateral anchors, and others. You will also want to build your house on the highest ground possible or with raised structures in the event of a storm surge.  

Clear drainage systems

Hurricanes and tropical storms cause heavy rains, which can often seep into and flood houses if you aren’t careful. One simple precaution is clearing all drainage systems like gutters and downspouts so that the water can flow uninhibited. A visual inspection should show if your drainage systems are clear and ready for the storm.

You can also hire someone to professionally clean your gutters if they are in poor condition. You’ll also want to stock up on towels and buckets indoors in case water leaks from the attic or seeps in through cracks.

Run a backup generator

In a hurricane or storm, the power is often the first thing to go off, and it could be hours or even days before it’s restored. You should always have a backup generator on hand, even if you don’t live in a hurricane-prone area. Choose from a small standby generator or a whole-house system.

In some cases, a backup generator can mean the difference between life or death. Be sure to check with local zoning regulations on the type of generator allowed, as many models can be loud.

Install a security system

Unfortunately, criminals often take advantage of empty houses whose residents have evacuated during a storm. Homes and businesses are frequently robbed during, before, or after storms. A home security system can protect your home from theft and break-ins.

Choose a security system with cameras and an alarm system that will notify the police if someone breaks into your home. Security systems can protect your home year-round and provide peace of mind.

At Sonitrol Security Systems, we are committed to protecting our customers’ homes and property with advanced, top-of-the-line technology. Schedule a free consultation today, or chat with our expert team at (843) 258-8226.