Flood and wind damage during hurricanes

Florida is definitely no stranger once hurricane season comes in to affect. There isn’t too much you can do once a major storm hits, but there are some precautious you can take to reduce the amount of damage. Some things you can do to protect your house, others might require you to contact a professional. One step to see how your area is affected by hurricane is to contact the Emergency Preparedness Division or American Red Cross to see the history of hurricane in your area. Next you might want to contact a building services department to see a flood map of your community. This could tell you how much flood water is likely to affect your community. Once you have the obtained that information you should look in to purchasing flood insurance. Regular homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage and you must purchase flood insurance under the Nation Flood Insurance Program. It takes thirty days for the insurance to come into affect so it’s better to purchase before flood and hurricane seasons start.

High winds can cause serious damage to your home. Winds can damage your roof to exterior walls and all the way down to the foundation. Make sure your roof is in good condition and the sheathing is properly installed. You can check the sheathing from the attic. Examine the rafters and if there is a lot of nail missing you may need to re-nail sheathing. Also make sure gables are securely fastened to the roof.  These are important because the side of the roof can take a real beating from the winds. If they don’t appear to be braced it’s in your best interest to contact a professional to install bracing. Check that double entry doors are secured at the top and bottom. If not winds can enter your home putting pressure on the wall and roof. Make sure for each double door at least one door is secured at the top of the door frame and the floor with sturdy sliding bolts. Most double doors come with these bolts, but however are not strong enough. Your local hardware store can provide you with the proper bolts in securing the doors.  Another good way to protect your home is to purchase storm shutters. These can protect windows, doors, skylights and other glass features of your home.  Most storm shutters are made of steel, aluminum, or wood. You can also make your own shutters out of five-eighths inch thick exterior-grade plywood. Hurricane straps can also help keep the roof and walls together during high winds. These can be difficult to install and may require a contractor.

Flooding is another aspect when it comes to hurricane damage. There are a few things around your home you need to make sure are protected from high waters. Check to see that the main electric panel, board electric outlets, switches, light sockets, baseboard heaters, and wiring are above flood waters. They should be at least twelve inches above projected flood elevation for your home.  You might want to have electric service lines where they enter the home at least twelve inches above the projected flood waters too. When dealing with any electrical work it should be done by a licensed electrician. Washer and dryers can be protected by shallower waters. You can place them on masonry or pressure-treated lumber or move them to a higher floor. Building a flood wall around the appliances can also help to protect them. Placing water heaters, furnaces, outside air conditioning compressors, heat pumps, and package units on masonry or concrete can help reduce the risk of them being damaged. Make sure fuel and propane tanks are anchored and secure. It fuel tanks happen to spill during a flood and makes its way into your home it can be extremely difficult and costly to clean up. Propane tanks are property of the propane company and you’re going to need permission to anchor them. A float plug can prevent water to back up into drains. When waters rise in the drain the plug will rise and plug the drain. Also look into having a backflow valve installed. This can prevent the event of sewage backup in your home. A licensed plumper can install a backflow valve. When doing this work make sure to follow state and local building codes.