Atlantic hurricane

Get Prepared with Coastal Home Pros

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated hurricane outlook on August 8. Their newest outlook indicates we should be prepared for an active hurricane season, with the potential for large numbers of storms forming in the Atlantic:

Seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45% (up from 30% from the outlook issued in May). The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35%, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20%.The number of predicted storms is also greater with NOAA now expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This updated outlook is for the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30.
hurricane outlook Atlantic 2019
With El Nino over, experts say our chances of hurricanes have increased.

With August and September being peak hurricane months, we thought now might be a good time to talk about hurricane preparedness. Today’s post will focus on long-term preparedness–tomorrow we’ll tackle short term issues when you know a storm is on the way.

Hurricane Shutters 101

Hurricane shutters add value to coastal Florida homes
Hurricane protection doesn’t have to be an eye-sore! These louvered shutters add style and protection to this coastal Florida home.

Impact-resistant shutters can be a great addition to homes in our hurricane-prone area, helping to keep the wind out of your home in the event of a major storm. WIthout hurricane shutters, wind can get inside your home and act in concert with exterior winds to break your house apart. To help prevent this, it’s important to make sure that you invest in quality, code-approved hurricane shutters. These type of shutters come in many styles and colors, and at many different price points. If you’re shopping for shutters, take some time to review the following checklist:

  • Do not mount hurricane shutters to the window frame. They should always be installed on the wall surrounding the window so that the force of any impact is transferred from the window to the sturdier wall. 
  • Make sure your shutters pass the 1994 Southern Building Congress codes. These codes ensure that shutters that meet the required specifications can withstand debris flying through the air at hundreds of miles per hour.
  • Make sure your shutters are installed according to all the local codes, and make sure your contractor pulls all the appropriate permits. 
  • Interested in a DIY option? You can make your own effective plywood shutters, but it’s a huge job. If you’re going to go this route, start working well before hurricane season starts. You don’t want to be stuck half-way through the job as a storm barrels towards your home. Better yet, get a licensed and experienced local contractor like Coastal Home Pros to take care of it for you!
thick plywood can offer hurricane protection
Plywood can do the job in a pinch.

High quality shutters are incredibly important when it comes to protecting your home from hurricane-force winds. But be wary of allowing yourself to slip into a false sense of security. The best shutters can’t protect your home if you have other structural issues with your roof, walls, windows, or doors. 

Inspect your roof for weakness

We recommend having a qualified professional inspect your roof seasonally. During hurricane season, it’s important to check the following items:

  • Hurricane anchors and straps–are they properly installed and are anchored to the tie-beam?
  • Roof trusses–do they have adequate bracing, especially on gable ends?
  • Roof sheathing panels–are they properly attached?
  • Are your soffits, roof tiles, and flashing in good shape and prepared for storm winds and rain?

Check the Doors 

Once you know your windows and roof are solid, it’s time to check out your doors. Garage doors can be a big issue during hurricane season, as they are typically only installed on a lightweight track. Our Coastal Home Pros contractors can help you install a bracing system before hurricane season starts so you’ll be prepared.  Consider replacing old doors with new options that meet codes and offer extra reinforcement. And don’t forget that windows inside doors need protection during the storm, just like standard home windows. 

Coastal Home Pros Can Help

Following these pro tips will help make sure home is prepared for the storm well before it heads your way. Stay tuned for our next post, which will deal with short-term preparation tips that can help when the storm has a name and it’s headed your way. 

Coastal Home Pros is here to serve you in the Panhandle and Emerald Coast communities. Our contractors are experts in handling any type of construction and maintenance, from small handyman jobs to major renovation projects and more. We have specialized crews that deal with everything from fencing and decking to flooring and tile, and we know a lot about hurricane preparedness. Contact us today to see you we can help you get your home ready to weather the peak months of hurricane season!