Summers are BUSY! With vacations, family visiting, and kids out of school, it’s challenging to find time to keep your house in order. With hurricane season here, we wanted to create a quick guide with steps to prepare your home. Check out our hurricane checklist below!
To keep things simple, we organized it sequentially with what to do before, during, and after a hurricane or tropical storm.
As a side note: While we know the Raleigh-Durham area isn’t as bad as the Carolina coast, these tips are a great reference point to help you prepare for any type of storm.
Before Hurricane Season
- Have your home’s exterior inspected.
Is your home over ten years old? Request an inspection of your roof, windows, and gutters to ensure everything is secure and watertight. A preventative repair will be cheaper than a leak repair.
- Trim any branches hanging near your house.
One of the most common types of storm damage comes from fallen trees and branches. We recommend hiring a landscaper to trim any trees growing too close to your roof and gutters.
- Make sure any gutter splash pads or extension hoses are connected to your downspouts.
Most homes have splash blocks, extension hoses, and/or underground drainage systems attached to their downspouts. Make sure each one is connected to your downspouts so water will drain properly during heavy rains.
- Clean your gutters.
Keeping your gutters clean reduces the likelihood of wood rot, gutter damage, and roof leaks. Check to make sure your gutters are clean before the rainy season. If your gutters are clogged during a hurricane, water can build up and overflow behind the gutters and seep under the shingles and wood fascia boards, causing water damage.
- Seal windows and doors.
If you have older windows and doors, we recommend hiring a window contractor to inspect them and seal any areas of concern. Did you know two of the most common misidentified roof leaks actually originate from your windows and siding? Just like your roof, your windows wear down over time and need maintenance or replacement to prevent window leaks.
- Review your insurance coverage.
Talk to your insurance agent and read through your insurance policies. Check to see what is covered. If necessary, talk to your agent about making changes before the storms come.
Right before a hurricane:
- Bring outdoor furniture inside.
- Make sure your electronics, battery packs, and generators are fully charged.
- Fill your cars with gas.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings.
- Bring your cars into the garage.
- For large hurricanes: prepare an emergency supply kit (food, water, clothes, first-aid, and batteries/lights).
During a hurricane:
- Unplug all electronics.
- Stay inside.
- Keep track of weather news.
After a hurricane:
- Clean up any yard debris.
- Check for any yard drainage issues.
- Look over your home’s exterior for any damage.
- Call a local contractor for an inspection and estimate if you see any damage.
- Contact your insurance company and notify them of any damage.
- Hire a local contractor for any necessary work.
When choosing a contractor, unless it is an emergency, we recommend taking some time to research different options and hire the best contractor for the job, even if there is a bit of a waiting time. Don’t let the stress of the moment lead you to hire the first person that knocks on your door.
A contractor with an empty calendar isn’t always a good sign. From restaurants to rollers coasters, a long line often means they are worth the wait.
We hope you find this hurricane checklist helpful as you prepare for this year’s rains. Need an inspection or estimate? Contact us here or call our office at 919-906-3791. We offer free roof/gutter estimates and inspections!