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Home Improvement

11 Tips to Protect Your House from a Hurricane

6 min read

If you live in the south, especially near the Gulf Coast, preparing your home for hurricane season has likely crossed your mind, given how near at hand it is. 

You protect your family by making sure everyone knows the safest places in your home and solidifying your evacuation plan in case you need to ride out the storm somewhere safer.

But do you know how to protect your home? Hurricane damage costs an untold amount of damage each year. While some storms will cause damage no matter the amount of preparation you do, there are actions you can take to lower the chances of catastrophic damage.

As home improvement experts, we’re here with 11 ways for you to protect your home this hurricane season.

Hurricane Prep List for Your Home

1. Use Shutters

If you don’t have impact-resistant windows or hurricane shutters, you’ll want to make sure you have all the supplies you need to board your windows before a storm is in the forecast. Most people believe that boarding windows simply keeps them from getting broken if there is flying debris. While that’s certainly true, there is a bigger reason to board them: if a window is broken during a hurricane, the sudden change in pressure inside your house can blow the roof off. 

The easiest way to board up your windows is with plywood and corrosion-resistant screws. Purchase or cut plywood sheets so that they are one inch bigger than your window on each side. Using screws and your power drill, attach the plywood with screws every 12-16 inches depending on the size of your window.

Why Impact Windows?

If you have the time and budget, upgrading to impact-resistant windows is a smart move. Built to withstand category 5 hurricane-force winds (157+ MPH), the extra protection will give you peace of mind during storms.

Why Impact Windows?

If you have the time and budget, upgrading to impact resistant windows is a smart move. Built to withstand category 5 hurricane force winds (157+ MPH), the extra protection will give you peace of mind during storms.

2. Make Sure Your Insurance Coverage is Up to Date

The start of hurricane season is a good reminder to check in with your homeowners, renters, and even car insurance, to ensure your coverage is still up to date. Learning that your coverage isn’t enough after suffering damage is never a good experience. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, be sure to add flood insurance to your coverage. Most insurance companies do not include flood insurance in standard coverage, so this is an important thing to check.

3. Seal Your Roof 

Sealing your roof is a great way to extend the life of your roof, but it also provides an extra layer of protection against the elements. When it comes to hurricanes, roof sealant will help prevent shingles from blowing off and act as a waterproof barrier. This is a job for a professional and you can expect to pay around $900, depending on the size of your roof and the coating you choose. Replacing a roof can cost several thousand dollars, so sealing is well worth the investment! 

4. Trim Trees

Flying debris like tree limbs and branches do untold damage during hurricanes. While you can’t completely prevent trees from losing limbs, you can lessen the risk. Prune your trees, being careful not to remove more than 25% of the tree branches, as that can kill it. Removing some of the interior branches will allow wind to pass through more easily. If you’re not comfortable pruning your trees yourself, contact a professional. This will ensure the trees are trimmed safely without posing risk to the tree.

person trimming tree

5. Secure Porch or Carport Posts

Of course, you’ll bring your patio furniture and decorations inside when a hurricane approaches, but it’s also important to make sure your porch and carport posts are secured. Double-check to make sure none of your posts are loose. If they are, reattach them with corrosion-resistant screws, as they are stronger than nails.

6. Make Sure Your Doors and Windows Are Properly Sealed

This is another thing that is important year-round, but is especially important during hurricane season. When your window seals or door weatherstripping are degraded or damaged, it is easy for wind and—more importantly when we’re talking about hurricanes—water to make its way inside. Check the seals and weatherstripping around your windows and doors to make sure it is intact. If not, reseal them as soon as possible.

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7. Unplug Electronics

During the storm, it’s a good idea to unplug electronics like your TV, game consoles, computers (including laptops), printer, and even your treadmill. This ensures that any power fluctuations don’t overload or fry your electronics. Even if you use surge protectors, the power fluctuations brought on by large storms like hurricanes are often too much for a surge protector to handle. Once the storm has passed, wait 10-15 minutes after power is restored to plug these items back in.

8. Bar Your Doors

When a storm is on the way, sealing off your home can protect your valuables and family inside. Depending on a hurricane’s strength, entry doors may blow inward with the strong winds. We recommend blocking your door with furniture or sandbags to prevent this. Sandbags in particular can keep some of the water out of your home as well should flooding occur.

9. Remove Yard Furniture and Decor

Before the hurricane hits, bring in any small decor you have that could blow away, like garden flags or flowerpots. If bringing in larger yard furniture isn’t an option, turn over chairs and tables so they’ll be less likely to get caught in the wind. If you have a garage with enough space, this is a great spot to store yard furniture until the hurricane is over. 

10. Clean Gutters for Proper Drainage

Check your gutters to ensure they’re not clogged before the storm. This will save you a headache later since they can prevent unnecessary water damage from reaching your home. Good gutters can drain the deluge of water and keep it from entering your home through the roof or ceiling. 

11. Move Valuables to the Second Floor or High Surfaces 

Nobody wants flooding, but hurricanes can bring unpredictable amounts of rain, especially if they’re slow-moving and bring a lot of water to one area in particular. In case of flood damage, move your valuables to the second floor of your home or, if you have a one-story house, move them to higher surfaces like the top of your refrigerator or cabinets. 

Get Your Home Ready For Hurricane Season with Window World of Lake Charles

As a locally-operated company, we know how important it is to prepare your home for hurricane season. If you’re ready to upgrade your home with impact-resistant windows or high-performance vinyl siding, we’re here to help. Get started by scheduling your free estimate today.