Getting Your House Ready for a Hurricane
Preparing for Hurricanes
A hurricane can hit your home at any time, so you need to be prepared for it. Here are some things you should do before the storm hits:
Protect and Clear Gutters
Leaves and other debris can accumulate in your gutters, blocking the flow of water that's supposed to get rid of it. If this happens, you may end up with leaks around your house and even flooding on the ground floor. Remove any obstructions from your gutters so they can do their job properly! If you have a gutter guard installed, make sure it is secure so water doesn't get trapped behind it. Consider installing one if you don't already have one—it's an easy way to keep your gutter clean without having to climb up onto a ladder every time something falls into them!
You should also secure loose rain gutters or extensions with brackets. If you don't have enough brackets, you can use plastic zip ties to secure your rain gutters. Fasten brackets to the fascia board (the board that runs across the top of your exterior wall). Secure both ends of the gutter strap over each bracket's screw hole and then tighten down each screw.
Install Storm Shutters
The first step to protecting your home from hurricane-force winds is to install storm shutters on all windows. When shopping for storm shutters, you'll find that there are two kinds: permanent and removable. Permanent storm shutters are installed by professional contractors and should last for as long as your home does. They're made with strong materials like metal or plastic, which makes them more expensive but also more durable than their removable counterparts.
You can install removable storm shutters yourself if you have the time and energy (or money). This type of shutter usually attaches to the window frame with screws, but some come with adhesive strips or suction cups instead. If you choose this option, make sure that the instructions are clear; otherwise, it's easy to accidentally damage both windows and frames when installing your temporary protection against hurricanes!
Install a Generator
One of the most important things you can do to make sure your home is ready for a hurricane is to install and maintain a generator. A generator will keep your refrigerator and freezer running, as well as power lights and other appliances that are essential during an outage.
If you don't have a permanent generator installed at home or work yet, now is the time to look into getting one. Generators should be tested every month with fuel added as needed so they will start immediately when needed during an emergency situation or power outage.
Protect your Garage Door
Garage doors are particularly vulnerable to high winds because they're large, heavy, and often double-sliding. The best way to secure your garage door is to brace it against the frame, using a length of lumber at least 2 feet long and 1 inch thick. If you have a chain or rope available, tie it around the door track above the garage door’s top hinge so that it can't be lifted out of its tracks by strong winds blowing into the garage.
Sandbags are commonly used for flood protection, but they can also be used to protect your garage door. The sandbags should be placed on the exterior of your garage door so that if water comes in from a hurricane it will flow around the sandbags and not directly into your home. To do this, place several bags along the perimeter of your garage door so that they form a barrier between it and the house. The bags should be filled with either soil or sand (not concrete) and stacked two high, with no gap between them and the garage door.
Inspect your Roof
It's probably a good idea to inspect your roof before the storm arrives, so you know what to look for when it does.
Check for loose shingles or tiles. Loose shingles are easy to spot, but if you don't have time to climb up onto your roof and check for them, look for any signs of water damage on the outside of your house (e.g., brown spots that could indicate leaking from a bad roof).
Check for damage to the roof—especially around pipes and chimneys. If you see any signs of damage like cracks in flashing or missing shingles, call experts in roof repairs immediately!
Check for damage to gutters and downspouts—more important than it might seem at first glance because they're designed with angles that allow rainwater runoff away from your home when there's no wind pushing against them (which means less risk of flooding).
If you have a large tree that's close to your house, trim it back. Make sure there's plenty of clearance around all power lines and stakes, and never cut branches that are too close to power lines. If you're not sure how to trim a tree safely, consider hiring a professional arborist or landscaper.
Cover the air conditioning system.
To protect your air conditioning system, cover the entire unit with plywood and seal it with tape or plastic wrap. This will not only protect your system from wind-driven rain or wind-blown debris but also keep it from being damaged by water that may come in contact with the AC condenser coils.
There are certain steps that you can take to prepare your home, and yourself, for hurricane season. These tips will help you get ready in case of an emergency. With these steps, you can make sure that your home is ready for hurricane season. Remember to keep an eye on the weather and stay safe! If a storm is coming your way, don’t forget to take proper precautions so you can ride out the storm safely in your own home.
If you do experience damage to your home after a hurricane, give SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville a call! We will get your Williamsport home back to normal quickly!