Ensure Your Residential Property is Ready for This Year’s Storms
Hurricane season begins next week, but just days before the Memorial Day holiday, we’re already tracking a system in the tropics! Here in Florida, we know that whether we own a residential or commercial property, the weather can change in an instant, and we must contend with the windy and rainy forces of mother nature in order to live and work in paradise.
This month, we released a guide on hurricane preparedness for your commercial building or property – now, it’s time for the Dulakis Painting team to equip Florida residents with the best tips for staying safe and minimizing home damage during hurricane season.
If you don’t know already, our team is all about being prepared – in fact, our Founder Chris Dulakis is a member and co-chairman of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Orlando Chapter Preparedness Team, which supports, helps investigate, and implements policies and procedures that pertain to structure safety and security.
Since Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 1st each year, we spend a lot of time collaborating with our residential clients about the damaging effects that wind and water can have on your home, because during hurricane season, your home’s windows and doors are especially susceptible to wind and flood damage. When a storm hits, wind can send debris whipping into windows and doors, resulting in broken glass and damage to your façade. Additionally, homes that aren’t sealed properly can be quickly breached with water, resulting in costly damage.
Wind damage, specifically, is consistently the number one cause of storm-related damage, but water and flood damage accounts for the largest share of hurricane damage costs. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, the average hurricane-related home flood claim was over $39,000. With the average American unable to save even a few hundred dollars for an emergency in today’s economy, that’s a bill that Florida homeowners simply can’t afford.
Overall, hurricane season storms result in billions of dollars of damage due to wind and water each year. Taking the time to prepare your property for hurricane season provides your home with greater protection in the event that a storm hits. Hurricane risk mitigation can also help residents qualify for lower insurance premiums.
Greatly reduce the risk of hurricane damage to your home by employing the following tips:
1. Have Your Windows Inspected and Properly Sealed
Properly sealing windows is an often overlooked step in preparing a home for hurricane season. It can be quite difficult to determine if the weather stripping needs to be replaced. Have your windows regularly inspected to determine window seal integrity. All caulking should be inspected and, if needed, removed and replaced with a high-quality urethane caulk.
2. Seal Wall Gaps, Inspect Wall Systems, and Secure Soffits
Seal gaps in outer walls can allow water to get into your home. All stucco should be inspected to help avoid this risk. It is typical of stucco to show some signs of cracking; however, the size and severity of the damage will help to decide next steps. For instance, a normal elastomeric patch followed by a high-quality sealer and paint will work in most situations. In others, stucco cracks can be bridged in order to fully waterproof the home.
Don’t forget to consider of all the holes that are naturally in your home, from plumbing and irrigation connections to lighting to HVAC system elements. Then there are unplanned holes, too – sealants that have long ago vanished, or settling cracks, to name a couple of reasons. Make sure you inspect your wall systems before hurricane season to prevent costly repairs later.
Interior and exterior walls, pipes and joints, roofs and foundations are most likely to need waterproofing. Adequate waterproofing requires more than a sealant that comes in a tube, or just another coat of paint. These measures are more cosmetic than anything else and don’t address the underlying problem of why there is dampness in the first place. Waterproofing should not only sort out the cause of the problem, but prevent its recurrence in the long-term.
3. Check Gutters and Roof Sealants
While you’re at it, have your gutters and roof sealants checked. A gutter system is supposed to channel water away from the roof and deposit it to a more useful location – but clogged gutters can cause water to backflow, almost guaranteeing water damage will occur. While you have someone up on the roof inspecting your gutters, check the roof’s sealants. Check all roofing penetrations such as stacks, skylights, and chimneys for decaying sealants and make necessary repairs.
4. Consider a Flood Insurance Policy
A flood insurance policy can save you from thousands of dollars in damage (and a big sticker price like we talked about above). Whether you rent, own, or have a condo, you can protect yourself with flood insurance. Costs vary, depending on how much insurance is purchased, the cost of the property, and the home’s flood zone risk. If interested, look into your premium prices and options now – there is usually a 30 day waiting period before the insurance kicks in.
Grab more tips on protecting your home from the Dulakis Painting Preventing Water Damage blog. If you’d like a free consultation on our services, or want to know how much storm prevention services with Dulakis Painting cost, give us a call at 407-366-9312 today.