Experts say that 2022 will be a busy year for Florida residents. The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project Team predicts 19 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, spanning June 1 to Nov. 30. Researchers expect nine to become hurricanes and four to reach major hurricane strength (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.
Now is the time for Volusia County residents to prepare their homes for our hurricanes’ notoriously dangerous wind speeds. The good news is that any home improvements you make to protect your home from dangerous winds may also reduce annual insurance costs.
Protect Your Home From Hurricane Season’s High Winds
Don’t assume your home is ready. Instead, read through these critical steps to guarantee your house has every chance possible to sustain the high winds and heavy rains our area’s storms are known for.
1. Schedule a home inspection
Scheduling a home inspection with an InterNACHI-certified inspector is the best way to determine whether your home is in sound enough shape to weather the predicted storms.
We’ll take a careful look at structural components that are most threatened during a storm during our inspection. These include:
- The roof
- Exterior walls
- Landscape features that pose a risk during the storm
- Foundation and drainage issues
- Wind mitigation components (or lack thereof)
Our detailed, post-inspection report outlines any areas requiring repairs, updates, or additions to make your home as impenetrable as possible.
Keep in mind that not all home inspection professionals are created equal. Find a licensed, local inspector with impeccable recommendations to ensure a careful, attentive, and accurate inspection. If the home was inspected in the past five years or so, you might be better off scheduling inspections tailored to your areas of concern like a wind mitigation inspection.
2. Honor annual roof inspections and maintenance recommendations
Your roofing system is one of your home’s primary defenses against wind and rain. Roofs are comprised of multiple layers and parts, including the decking, underlayment, and shingles. Any damage, wear-and-tear, or installation mistakes within the roofing system make your home more susceptible to wind and storm damage.
If you haven’t done so already, connect with a reputable licensed roofing contractor and schedule a roof inspection to assess any red flags or potential repair items that should be addressed before the hurricane system. In addition, if you recently purchased a home or gained occupancy of a new construction home, schedule a roof inspection with a building inspector for a more detailed and thorough inspection of the building’s roof and attic systems.
3. Optimize wind mitigation features
The best-built Florida homes are designed with wind mitigation features in mind. When building inspectors perform wind mitigation inspections, we look for the following:
- A solid roof assembly, built to code, and without any faulty penetrations or attachments
- Secure roof-to-wall connections
- Exterior wall framing and reinforcement
- Opening protections, such as hurricane-rated windows and doors, shutters, impact-resistant glass, etc.
- Secondary water barriers that protect your home from water infiltration in the presence of driving rains that are often able to penetrate primary water barriers
Your inspection report will note any gaps in the building’s wind mitigation system or any areas that require repair, updating, or reinforcement.
4. Add the third nail to existing hurricane clips
Hurricane clips are essential for securing the roof to your home and keeping it secure in violent storms. Take a look at your hurricane clips. If there are only two nails present, add a third nail for greater reinforcement. Then, let your insurance company know to receive a potential premium reduction.
5. Fortify the garage
Attached garages are often the weak link in a home’s hurricane protection. If the garage door is not hurricane-rated, it’s more likely to blow off in the storm. This allows high-speed winds better access to the home, pressurizing it and making it more likely to experience roof damage. Garage door storm braces are a wise investment, able to withstand up to 180 mph winds.
6. Clean up the yard, prune the trees, and secure loose items
Maintaining your yard and surrounding property is the first item listed in our post How to Wind Proof Your Home. Even the most secure home can fall victim to flying debris. Ensure your yard is cleared of debris or anything that can become airborne. Even the most unlikely of suspects, like lightweight lawn art, can become a dangerous and costly projectile when buoyed by high winds. Also, hire an arborist or local tree specialist to do an annual walkabout, trimming overgrown or diseased branches or removing trees that could threaten your home in a severe storm.
Get In Touch With Super Inspection Pros Before the First Hurricane
Don’t let the first hurricane-force storm catch you by surprise. Instead, contact the experienced professionals as Super Inspection Pros and we’ll get you on the books within 24 hours or less so you can get on track with the wind protection features your home needs.