How to Prepare Your Florida Home for Hurricane Season

prepping house for hurricane

Hurricanes hit Florida harder and more frequently than any other state in the U.S., usually occurring during the Atlantic hurricane season from June 1 to November 30. Florida’s location and climate make it especially prone to these powerful storms, which bring winds up to 110 mph and gusts of 135 mph. Hurricanes can also cause storm surges, with waves reaching up to 25 feet, often resulting in deadly conditions. About 90% of hurricane-related deaths are due to drowning from storm surges or flooding. Coastal residents should know their evacuation zones and property elevation.

Historically, Florida has faced some of the most intense hurricanes, such as Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Michael in 2018. Most recently, Hurricane Ian, a Category 5 storm in 2022, caused $112 billion in damages and resulted in 84 deaths. Hurricanes can cause extensive damage to homes, including roof detachment, shattered windows, flooding, and structural failure, emphasizing the importance of thorough preparation.

While hurricanes bring various threats, preparing your home in advance will help you be ready for the season. Here is what our handyman recommends and what we can help with it.

1. Seal Windows, Doors, and Wall Cracks

Start by ensuring that all windows, doors, and wall cracks are sealed properly to prevent water from leaking inside. Applying waterproof sealant around window and door frames can make a significant difference in keeping your home dry. While wall cracks can be more difficult to manage depending on their size, a combination of patching compounds and sealants can effectively fix them. A silicone-based caulk should be used because it provides a more durable and flexible seal to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Dependable Services offers comprehensive solutions to enhance your home’s resistance to water damage. We begin with thorough inspections to identify potential problem areas where water might seep through. Our team of experienced technicians expertly applies high-quality waterproof sealants around your window and door frames, ensuring a tight and secure seal.

completed wall repair - exterior

2. Inspect and Maintain Your Roof

Hurricanes in Florida can be particularly harsh on roofs, causing significant damage if they are not properly maintained. Regular roof inspections can identify potential vulnerabilities before they become major issues during a hurricane.

Dependable Services can apply a waterproof roof sealant that can be beneficial, preventing water damage and enhancing the overall integrity of your roof against strong winds. Helping protect your roof and extend its life expectancy.

3. Strengthen Exterior Walls

Hurricanes can be extremely damaging to exterior walls, often leading to severe structural issues if they are not properly protected, as well as drywall damage if water seeps in from the outside. Check the exterior walls of your home for any cracks or weak spots. Filling these with an appropriate waterproof sealant or patching compound can help reinforce your home’s structure. Consider applying a waterproof coating to exterior walls, especially if they are made of materials susceptible to water damage.

Dependable Services can help you prepare your home before a hurricane, inspecting your exterior walls for cracks, weak spots, and potential vulnerabilities. We can fill and seal cracks with waterproof sealants or patching compounds, apply durable waterproof coatings, and install protective barriers. Additionally, they can reinforce wall joints and edges, ensuring your home’s exterior is fortified to withstand the harsh conditions brought by hurricanes.

completed wall repair - exterior

4. Secure and Maintain Gutters and Downspouts

Hurricanes in Florida can be particularly harsh on gutters and downspouts, causing detachment, clogs, and leaks, leading to water overflow, foundation erosion, and damage to exterior walls. Dependable Services can help you avoid these issues by providing comprehensive gutter and downspout maintenance and repair services. Our team inspects for damage, cleans out debris, repairs or replaces damaged sections, and secures gutters firmly to the roofline. We can also install gutter guards to prevent future clogs and ensure downspouts direct water away from your foundation.

5. Install or Check Storm Shutters and Landscape for Hurricane Resistance

Storm shutters are necessary for protecting windows from flying debris during hurricanes. If you already have them, ensure they are in good working order before hurricane season starts. If not, consider installing them as they provide an additional layer of security for your windows. Dependable Services can install new storm shutters or inspect and repair existing ones to ensure they function correctly when needed.

Additionally, the landscaping around your home can significantly impact your home’s protection during a hurricane. Using wind-resistant plants and trees can create natural barriers against strong winds. Regular maintenance, such as pruning and removing dead branches, is essential to prevent these natural elements from becoming projectiles during a storm. We can assist with landscape maintenance and advise on the best plants for wind resistance, helping you create a safer outdoor environment around your home.

Consult with Dependable Services

If you’re unsure how to get your home ready for hurricane season, talking to professionals is where to start. Dependable Services can give you expert advice and help you make all the necessary preparations. We also offer regular home repairs, which are especially important before and after hurricane season. Don’t take any chances with your home’s safety—let our team help you protect your home and family. Contact us today to get ready for this upcoming hurricane season and keep your home safe and secure.

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