While most know that the hurricane season runs from June 1st through November, some don’t know that 75% of Florida storms hit in the August thru September time-frame. The core of the hurricane season begins next week.
Today, I’d like to talk preparing your home. There’s nothing I can write that’ll prevent damage from storm surge, falling trees, or the tornadoes that can accompany a storm. If the nature of an incoming storm puts you at risk from any of these happening, it’s time to evacuate. Homes can be rebuilt.
While storm surge, falling trees and tornados do lots of damage, the reality is that most storm damage is not so severe. Wind, and wind-driven rain, affecting thousands or even tens of thousands of homes, is often far less dramatic. Things that don’t normally leak with afternoon thundershowers suddenly do leak with the rain is coming sideways at tropical storm strengths.
The exterior of your home is a shell that protects your home and its contents. This shell needs upkeep. Cracks in stucco, brick or block that are already present will ‘suddenly’ leak when the rain is coming in horizontally. These cracks should be dealt with now, they cannot be done the day before the storm in the rain.
Similarly, caulk around door and windows eventually dries out and cracks in the Florida sun. Wood trim can twist, crack or pull away from the home. These then become primary spots for water intrusion. That water will intrude into your wall first, and depending on volume – a lot, or only a little at a time – can cause rot, mold and other damage inside the wall before it becomes evident by way of stained or blistering drywall.
The need to board up windows and doors is because of flying debris. Have a plan to secure your deck furniture, the kid’s toys, hanging flower pots and the like. If you still think you’d prefer your windows boarded up, then now is the time to develop a plan. Some purchase hurricane shutters, especially if close to the water, and others simply get plywood cut to their various window sizes and store it in the garage or a shed.
Human nature is such that most will wait until a storm is upon us before they act. When they finally decide to request service for board up, caulking and other hurricane preparation of their home, they find that service providers are busy, or have dismissed their staff to look after their own homes and families. In reality, nobody in their right mind should be putting plywood on their shoulder and climbing a ladder once the wind starts.
Unfortunately, these last minute calls also leave consumers open to price gauging and other unsavory practices.
While I hope nothing like Matthew happens this fall, now is the time to prepare your home. If you need help, call Mr. Handyman, there’s simply no one like us.