Florida Hurricane Contractor Tips | Safety Tips

Posted by Johanna Viscaino on

Andrea Hoffman, a licensed general contractor and home inspector in the state of Florida, shares her top five hurricane safety tips.

  • Check the exterior of your home

  • One of the first things you should do as a homeowner or a renter is to actually walk around and examine the exterior of your unit. Take a look at the doors and the windows to see how well sealed they are.

    Because the one thing you do not want to happen during any type of storm — whether it's a tropical storm, intense rainstorm, or a hurricane — is to have excess movement around these openings. Even as a renter, you're ultimately responsible for your safety and the safety of your belongings. 

    When you rent, sometimes the homeowner or property manager of the building might have shutters for your unit, but otherwise you're going to be responsible for yourself. So that's why it's important not only for homeowners, but also for renters to walk around, take a look, and see what you’re up against. 

  • Buy plywood early

  • When you move into your home, you’ll likely be living there for at least a year which means you may encounter at least one storm. So keep that in the back of your mind and buy plywood early. Hurricane season begins in June and that is not the time to start worrying about running to the hardware store.

    Plywood can be cumbersome to handle and install, but almost anybody can cut it to fit a particular window and use screws and wingnuts to hold it into place.

    What about impact windows? If you're living in an older unit, you’re probably not going to have impact windows. Number one, impact windows are very, very expensive. Number two, they're probably only installed on newer homes, or apartment buildings due to the new regulations with the Florida building codes. When in doubt, you can always go down to the building department to investigate and they can pull the records to let you know for sure. This means you're going to have to cover your windows to try and protect yourself, your family, and your belongings. 

  • Reinforce your exterior doors

  • Oftentimes if you have a wood door, it can become warped as it expands and contracts in the Florida weather. So it may no longer seal as well as it did when it was originally installed. If you are not immediately able to replace the door, many hardware stores might carry items that could help secure the door more tightly. For double doors, there are items you can position around the two handles to secure the doors together to help prevent them from opening.

  • Remove exterior light fixtures

  • What we all know about preparing the exterior of our home is to make sure there’s nothing laying in the yard like patio furniture. But also, you might have exterior light fixtures. You definitely need to remove these, because they can become dangerous in terms of glass and or electrical hazards.

  • Secure your garage door
  • If you have a home with a garage door, it’s also a good idea to check and see if you have manual locks on the side of the door. If the garage door locks are damaged or absent, they are relatively easy to buy at Home Depot or any hardware store to secure your garage door even more. Once again, with the new Florida Building Code rules and regulations, required garage door integrity has been improved within recent years. So newer homes have fewer concerns when it comes to the reliability of your garage doors.

    Share this post

    ← Older Post Newer Post →

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.