In recent coverage from WPTV Channel 5 West Palm Beach about the recent hail storm that swept through Treasure Coast, Palm City resident Mary Ann Kiely talks about the storm seeming to hit out of nowhere. She describes how the skies darkened, wind was violently gusting, and golf ball sized hail damaged the screen covering her lanai. This resident was lucky that no further damage was done to her home, however, thousands were not as lucky, suffering minor to severe storm damage to their homes throughout Martin County, Stuart, Palm City, Okeechobee, Port Salerno, and Hobe Sound. The hailstorm that swept through Treasure Coast on April 27, 2015, left many homes and businesses with extensive hail and wind damage. There are ways to protect your home to prepare for these types of extreme weather situations and future storm events.
Get An Inspection Before the Next Storm Hits
Many homeowners are not aware that yearly inspections of their home or business, particularly the roof, can significantly lower the risk of future damage inflicted on their properties. Getting an inspection also alerts property owners of any current damages they may not be aware of. Roofs and exteriors typically get the brunt of the damage, and at the very minimum it is important to set a yearly inspection to make sure your roof and the rest of your home or business is well-maintained and equipped for future storms.
A yearly inspection will identify possible defects to your home or business that may lead to water intrusion and leaks and identify structural issues that can be repaired, so you don’t pay thousands of dollars in damage if another storm hits.
A HAAG Engineering certified inspector will thoroughly assess your roofing, siding, gutters, pool enclosures, screened porches, exteriors. Since your roof often gets most of the damage and is often undetected, the inspect will thoroughly identify if there are loose, curled, or missing tiles or shingles. The inspector will review spacing of nails holding shingles and roof deck, light peaking through your roofing, and any protruding nail tips to determine if storm damage exists and next steps to restore your property.
Certified Storm Damage Restoration Company Repairs Make Your Property More Impact Resistant
One way to add protection against storms (particularly against water damage) to your roof is by sealing your roof deck. This added protection should be made from strong enough material so if your primary roof cover blows off, it will remain in place.
Other things that are inexpensive to add protection to your roofing include: replacing missing or loose nails in your shingles, adding roofing cement to the edges of shingles, and adding construction adhesive to each side of rafters.
You can also ask a professional roofing contractor to install “hurricane” clips that connect the roof of your home to the walls from inside. These metal clips add structural support and are inexpensive to ensure added protection against your roof ripping off.
Vents and Soffits
Vents and soffits can be major pathways to letting unwanted water seep into your home during a storm. Ask your contractor to check these and recommend ways to ensure they are properly installed and composed of the proper materials that are in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation requirements.
Seal the Gaps
You may not notice them without close inspection, but over time aging and weather can lead to gaps around your home through faucets, pipes, electrical outlets, water meters, and many more spots throughout your home. If water enters through these gaps during a major storm they can cause devastating damages. Many gaps can be sealed using caulk. Ask your contractor to do this, as the type of caulk used depends on the location of the gap.
Windows and Doors
The installation of impact-resistant windows, doors, and garages can have significant impacts on preventing wind damage, and also come with added benefits like reducing outside noise, keeping cool or warm air in, and protect your home from intruders. As this is sometimes a costly option, other measure that can be taken are installing shutters to your windows and doors, and retrofitting your garage door. Although they offer added protection, the best option still remains to install impact-resistant windows when you can in the long term.
Many homeowners are unaware that many insurance companies offer deep discounts to those who have taken step towards storm protection. Savings from these added features can be in the thousands annually. Florida is the most vulnerable state to hurricanes, and many insurers offer deep discounts to those who have taken steps towards protection.
Choosing a Reputable Storm Damage Repair Contractor
Be very wary of storm chasers, and do a proper investigation of the contractor you choose to repair your property. Here is a list of things to check before making a hiring decision.
- Investigate the reputation and experience of the storm damage repair company.
- Is the company a preferred contractor with any manufacturers?
- Is the company a certified contractor with the National Storm Damage Center?
- Is the company a member of the Better Business Bureau and what is their rating?
- Request copies of the remodeler’s insurance certificates and look for liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.
- Is the company properly insured with General Liability Insurance of at least one million dollars in coverage?
- Ask if the company provides manufacturer’s warranty on their products.
- Check for years of experience in the storm damage restoration industry.
- Ask for current customer references.
(Video Credit: Imagine Imaging)