Florida is called the “Sunshine State” for a good reason. It is gorgeous and warm about 95 percent of the time. However, the other five percent of the time, it is rainy and hurricane seasons. Home owners who live in Florida need to take the proper precautions every year to make sure that their homes are in good shape, enough to withstand the elements. Making necessary updates to your house now, before the storms hit, will in turn save you thousands of dollars rather than pouring out thousands of dollars to repair and replace damaged property. Here are some tips on keeping your house protected from Mother Nature during Florida’s rainy and hurricane season.
Do You Have Proper Home Insurance Coverage?
Double check your home owners’ insurance has the proper coverage on your policy. For example, your home is depreciating in value every year, meaning that the cost to insure it will be higher. It is important to check the amount of coverage that you’ll need every couple of years. You may want to get a second opinion on your current insurance if your coverage amount seems. Your Home Owner’s policy will not cover flooding, however, there is still an option on how to get flood insurance coverage for your home. You can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. This service would be a necessity for people living in high-risk flooding areas of Florida. If you think that you are in a high-risk flooding area of Florida, and you want to get flood insurance, do not hesitate – do it now! There is a 30-day grace period before your insurance policy goes into effect.
Check and Protect Your Roof!
Checking and protecting your roof can save you thousands of dollars in the long run during rainy season and hurricane season. It is important to note that you should inspect your roof after every storm to look for missing shingles and for water damage, not just before the storm. You should hire a roof inspector to properly inspect the roof before the rainy season or hurricane season begins. Roof inspectors can give you a more in-depth look at the problems of your roof (if there’s any at all). If there are weak areas on the roof, the roof inspector should secure them with hurricane straps so the roof will stay intact during a natural disaster. Replacing a roof is expensive, so it’s best for you to take care of your roof to help it last for years to come!
Inspect the Exterior Inspection of Your Home Regularly
It is important that when we are talking about home inspections, we cannot overlook the Foundation. The home owner should walk about the foundation of the home and carefully inspect all areas. Check for any sign of water damage around the outside of the home. Any loose soil? That could also be a sign of water damage that needs to be repaired. On the outside of the home, if there are bubbles in the exterior paint that means that moisture and water are getting through to the inside of the house. Also, it is important to inspect all downspouts around your home. Make sure that they are directed away from your home. This can cause water to drain in excess near your foundation and water will then be getting inside under your foundation. The homeowner also should install weather-stripping around the doors and windows. This helps the doors and winds can withstand high gusts of wind and rain.
Inspect the Interior of Your Home
When performing an interior home inspection, it is important to check and make sure that all your electrical outlets are about 3 inches above the floor. This will help ensure that your appliances will survive the flood without an electrical power surge. You also need to look for any cracks or breaks in the walls where water could collect in the event of a flood and potentially form mold. You may want to consider dry-proofing your home by painting with wall sealants to keep water out and adding foundation vents to let water flow through your home instead of collecting in one big pool of water.
Protect Your Home from Mold
During the Florida Rainy Season, it is imperative that you check your home routinely for small leaks and any sign of water damage around your exterior or interior of your home. Mold is a fungus that likes to grow in moist areas and it can begin growing just 24 hours after a flood happens. In certain cases, mold can also occur through a small leak that was not attended to in time and it got progressively worse before the homeowner noticed. As far as insurance goes, most insurance policies have stipulations that the coverage will only cover mold caused by natural disasters. Check your policy again to be sure if mold from water damage is covered when the water damage was not caused by a natural disaster. To try to minimize the chance that your home will mold, you can do these precautionary steps:
• Have air conditioning in your home.
• Use a dehumidifier occasionally.
• Have tile in your bathroom instead of carpet.
• Always use a cleaner that has bleach when cleaning in moist areas.
• Check all seals around sinks, bathtubs, anywhere water will be present.
Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season
As we are talking about inspecting your home for water damage for the upcoming Rainy Season, let us not forget about Hurricane Season, which can be tough for many Floridian home owners. When hurricane season begins, it is important to do an inventory of your belongings, meaning, take a few photos of your possessions so that in the event your home was destroyed by a hurricane, it would make filing insurance claims a little bit easier. It is also important to inspect your garage door and make sure it is reinforced. Many people do not think about the garage door, but if it is not reinforced, powerful winds gusts get can inside of your home, causing severe damage to the interior windows, doors, and the interior of your roof.
When inspecting your home to make it hurricane proof, remember to check your windows and doors for cracks and make sure they close properly. In the event of a hurricane, high wind gusts could rip your door off of its hinges if the door is not properly closed. Broken windows will let rain inside of your home causing water damage. In the event of a hurricane, use storm shutters on your doors and windows or literally board them up with plywood.
Protecting your home is a huge priority during Florida’s Rainy Season and Hurricane Season. If you commit to taking preventative measure now, before something happens to your home, it pays off in the long run. For example, if you ever want to sell your home, it will sell much faster if there’s never been any kind of water damage or damage from a natural disasters. Taking care of your home now, will definitely help your home to stand up to the elements during Mother Nature’s favorite time of the year.
To hire the best Home Inspector in Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Naples, Estero and Bonita Springs, Florida – Please call West Coast Home Inspection Today! (239) 464-3386