Irma—the costliest hurricane in Florida history—is still fresh in the minds of many Southwest Florida residents, it’s time to look to the future as another hurricane season is set to begin on June 1. Initial forecasts are calling for another active season, with Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science Tropical Meteorology Program predicting 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater strength.
We can’t stop Mother Nature, but homeowners and business operators can take pre-storm season measures that may help mitigate potential damages caused by any tropical storms that hit our state in the months to come.
Water Intrusion and Wind: Biggest Pre-Storm Season Factors to Consider
Wind damage from hurricanes generally causes the most storm-related damage, but water and flood damage represents the most costly damage. That said, they generally cause damage in conjunction with each other during tropical storms. While outright flooding of your premises or business can be catastrophic, even water intrusion that seeps into your home or business due to heavy rain and wind can start causing damage at the foundation or between interior and exterior walls. Heavy winds can rip out or damage asphalt shingles, shake, clay tiles and even metal roofing, allowing subsequent rainfall to leak directly into your home or business.
The walls themselves are also at risk from wind-driven water intrusion, especially in those areas where the walls meet window casings, pipes, joints, roofing, foundations or any place that needs caulking. Stucco and wood walls should also have a decent coat of paint or other sealant, as storm driven water can seep into gaps or cracks and ultimately lead to dry rot in wood or de-lamination in stucco.
What to Inspect for Hurricane Season Preparation
At a minimum, homeowners and business operators should inspect the following elements of their homes and commercial buildings:
- • Roof—start at the top by conducting a full inspection of your roof no matter what the roofing material. Check to make sure that there are no loose shingles or tiles, or, if a metal roof, loose fasteners. Also check the condition of flashing and any sealants around stacks, skylights and chimneys.
- • Gutters—clean your gutters and make sure that there is no debris clogging the down spouts.
- • Walls—Whether wood, stucco or concrete, check the condition of your paint or sealant. If you see peeling, bubbling or cracking on wooden walls, you may want to consider repainting those damaged areas, or consider a complete paint job if the damage is extensive. Stucco and concrete can typically show some signs of cracking, but if large or extensive, such areas may need patching and sealing.
- •Windows and doors—inspect windows and doors to make sure they properly seal and replace any worn out weather stripping.
- • Caulking—old, cracked worn out caulking should be removed and replaced with high quality urethane caulk.
FCI Painting Has Expertise with Pre-Storm Mitigation
FCI Painting offers a slate of after-storm clean-up and repair services, however this Naples, Florida-based business also provides a full range of pre-storm season measures designed to protect your home from the ravages of nature. We conduct intrusion inspections of homes and businesses, and, as a fully licensed contractor with more than 20 years of dedicated service in southwest Florida, can resolve most issues that could prove compromising in the event of a tropical storm. To learn how FCI Painting can help you prepare your home or business for the coming hurricane season, contact us today online, or give us a call at (239) 435-1001.