1. Get a Roof Inspection

If your roof doesn’t stand up to the elements during a hurricane, your entire home could be at risk. All it takes is one roofing problem to leave you with water damage, wind damage, flooding, and even structural damage once the hurricane has come and gone.

That’s why you need the help of an experienced roofing contractor before storm season arrives. A roof inspection can identify roof damage, faulty roofing materials, or premature signs of aging that could compromise your home during a storm — so the sooner you get inspected, the better. An inspection and a few repairs won’t be too expensive — and it’s a drop in the ocean compared to what you’d pay to replace a failed roof after a hurricane.

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2. Get Your Gutters Cleaned And Fixed

If your home is going to have a fighting chance during a big-time hurricane, it must be able to redirect water away from your roof and your home as quickly and efficiently as possible. But that’s not going to happen if your gutters are broken or clogged. Without operational gutters, water will pool up at the edges of your roof and near the base of your home, which can lead to heavy basement and main floor flooding.

To make sure you’re prepared for hurricane season, get a professional company to clean and repair your gutters, and ask about downspout extensions that can carry water three to five feet away from the base of your home. When large volumes of water are moving through your gutter system, normal downspouts won’t be able to push water far enough away from your home to prevent pooling and flooding, so longer downspouts are a necessity.

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3. Trim Your Trees

A tree branch hanging over your roof  may not seem like a huge issue when the weather is nice, but it can be downright dangerous during hurricane season. When the wind picks up and heavy rainfall weighs branches down, it can detach them from trees and turn them into projectiles that can break windows, damage your roof, and cause water to rush into your home at the worst possible time.

Before the fall storm season arrives, trim any unstable or dead branches — or even better, get a local professional to do it for you. Your trees will be much more sturdy when the time comes, and your home won’t be at risk for tree-related damage.

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4. Consider Roof Tie-Downs

Tie-downs, also known as “hurricane straps” could be an excellent choice for your roof if you’ll be dealing with hurricane-force winds and plenty of precipitation. They essentially strap your roof down so it can avoid wind damage and push away precipitation more effectively.  These straps aren’t necessary for every roof, but they could help yours — so ask your roofing contractor in Melbourne if they’re the right choice for you.

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5. Prepare to Cover Your Windows

Many homes in Florida have built-in shutters that are made to protect your windows from storm damage — so if that’s the case for your home, don’t forget to use them when the time comes. However, if your home doesn’t have built-in shutters, you’ll need to find other ways to protect your windows from the elements.

Pre-cut plywood is a go-to for homeowners in hurricane-prone areas. First, take measurements of your window casings (add 10 inches to the height and width of your window measurements to fully cover your casings), head on down to the hardware store, grab some screws that are compatible with your home’s exterior materials, drill some holes, and attach your plywood to your home exterior. This might sound like a lot of hard work and money, but it’s worth the cost and the effort, especially if it means you won’t have to replace all of your broken windows when the hurricane passes.

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6. Gather Emergency Supplies

Your home might be prepared for hurricane season — but is your family ready? There are plenty of supplies you’ll need to dig up so you’re ready for any sort of storm-related emergency:

  • Flashlight and accompanying batteries
  • Two weeks worth of canned foods (and a can opener)
  • Two weeks of your prescription medications
  • Battery-powered weather radio
  • Bottled water (a gallon per day per person)
  • First aid supplies

Also, get two weeks worth of anything your children or babies might need to stay happy and healthy, like diapers and formula. Once you’ve gathered all of your supplies, keep them in transportable, easy-to-access bins so you can move them around your house or put them in your vehicle in the event of an evacuation. It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared, so be sure to stock up on plenty of necessities just in case the storm lasts longer than expected.

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7. Use Smartphones to Your Advantage

Smartphones are obviously useful during hurricane season in order to reach loved ones, but they’re also a great tool to stay informed. There are plenty of storm apps that will send you text messages or push notifications when storm warnings, evacuations, and other critical news is announced. On iPhones, you can go to Settings > Notifications > Government Alerts to turn on federal and state emergency alerts so you’re always the first to know what’s happening.

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8. Make Plans for Pets

You’ve made plans for your home and your human family, so why wouldn’t you make plans for your pets? Some homeowners choose to leave their pets at home during hurricanes while they evacuate — and even though they might have everything they need to be comfortable, they’re at a much higher risk for injury and death, and at best, they’ll go through some psychological turmoil braving out the storm alone while you are away.

Before hurricane season rolls around, make a detailed plan of how you’re going to take care of your pets, whether you’re hunkering down in your home or leaving for safer pastures. Call hotels to ask if they accept pets, ask a friend outside of the area if they’d be able to house your pets for awhile until the storm is over, pay for a professional pet boarding service, or make comfortable spaces for your pets in your car so you can transport them without much fuss.

Your pets are a part of your family. While it might be inconvenient or expensive to transport or house your pets, it’s your best (and only) bet to keep them safe through the storm.

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9. Follow Directions

There’s a reason local and state governments issue storm warnings and evacuation warnings — it’s because there’s a chance of injury or death if you don’t heed these warnings. No matter what you think about your state and local governments, and no matter what you think about the end destination of your tax dollars, you must follow instructions from the powers that be during hurricane season. Evacuating an entire city is an insane prospect — officials wouldn’t send out an evacuation mandate unless it were completely necessary.

If you get an evacuation warning, you must follow directions and be prepared for it in the first place. Yes, the traffic will be brutal, but so is being in your home during an intense hurricane.

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Trust Hippo Roof During Hurricane Season

If you’re looking to prepare your home for hurricane season in the fall, the time to act is now. Hippo Roofing is a leading provider of roof replacement, roof repair, and roof inspections so you can protect your home from the elements and have peace of mind when the wind starts to howl and the rain begins to pour. We offer a variety of metal roofing products that can protect your home for many storm seasons to come, and our customer service is unrivaled in the Melbourne area. Contact us with any questions, and get your roof squared away with Hippo Roofing today.