Prepare Now to Keep Wind and Water Out During Hurricane Season

Tropical Storm Chris is a good reminder to prepare homes for hurricane season. The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) says the following steps can help keep water out and minimize the effect wind might have on your home.

Use polyurethane sealant to close up holes where wires, cables and pipes enter and exit the house, and around electrical boxes and circuit breaker panels. Pipe penetrations include AC refrigerant and condensate lines, water heater pressure relief lines and water pipes. Also seal spaces around wall outlets, dryer vents, bathroom and kitchen vents and electrical devices such as wall lights.

Make sure gutters are clean and stable. This ensures proper drainage and lessens the chance they will become flying debris in high wind. Make sure downspouts slope away from the house and carry water at least five feet away from foundation walls.

Examine your roof carefully, looking for worn, curled or missing shingles. If the roof is in decent condition, but some shingles, particularly along the edge, are not well attached, use roofing cement in 10oz caulk tubes to glue them back down. Place three 1" diameter dabs under each shingle tab. On gable ends, secure the three shingle tabs closest to the gable edge. (Consider hiring a contractor if you're not comfortable performing work on a ladder or roof.)

If you haven't done so already, choose how you will protect your windows and doors from flying debris, get the materials and install the hardware now. This will keep you out of long supply lines and allow you to put the panels in place more quickly when a hurricane threatens.

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