This article was written by Larry Abbott and printed in the June 26th, 2022 edition of the Houston Chronicle.
Hurricane season officially started on June 1st. Houston-area officials are urging residents to prepare and be ready if the worst happens as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts another “above normal” Atlantic hurricane season in 2022.
Now is the time to make any preparations that can minimize injury and property damage. Take care of any home repairs to ensure your safety.
The key to keeping your home safe during a storm is with regular maintenance year-round. Your roof should be inspected in the spring and fall for any signs of damage such as missing shingles. Your gutters should be clean and secure. If you have siding, look for missing pieces and damaged areas.
Inspect your property, anything not firmly attached to the ground may become a projectile during a hurricane. Remove or secure items like outdoor furniture, potted plants, sports equipment and toys.
Check for loose fenceposts or pieces of decking that may need additional concrete for better support. If there are any cracks in your home’s foundation, they will need to be sealed.
Your doors and windows are two of the most vulnerable elements of your house. Doors that hang loosely and windows with significant gaps may be more likely to blow open or break during a storm.
Good quality windows will protect your home during a hurricane. All windows and doors should be tightly sealed. If windows are older, consider upgrading to more durable, impact-resistant windows or consider installing storm shutters. If you need to upgrade your exterior doors, consider fiberglass or steel which can withstand heavy winds.
Don’t forget your garage door, which often bears the brunt of hurricane-force winds. Check your manual to see how to disengage it from the track and manually lock it.
Flooding is another significant risk that homeowners must plan for when storms strike. Inspect grading to ensure water flows away from the structure
To minimize damage, make repairs beforehand. This can save thousands of dollars in damage, as well as the time spent making repairs. Most importantly, being prepared can help keep your family safe.