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Hurricane Season sign against a stormy background.

4 Tips to Prepare Your Florida Home for the 2023 Hurricane Season

How prepared are you for Florida's 2023 hurricane season? Being proactive about these home repairs can help mitigate damage from flooding, wind, storm surge, and rain.

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With hurricane season 2023 in full swing and the potential for severe storms on the horizon, regions like Florida’s west coast are gearing up for the possibility of heavy rain, strong winds, and power outages. The state’s sandy soil exacerbates concerns as foundation problems become more likely when faced with extreme weather conditions. 

Even though the 2023 hurricane season has started slow, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration predicts a 30% chance of an above-normal season this year.

Now is the time to get proactive about hurricane preparations. More than stocking up on bottled water and learning your evacuation route (although these measures are very important), you can take steps to protect your home. According to the National Institute of Building Sciences, every $1 spent on flood mitigation saves $6 in repairs. Not only can hurricane preparations help save you money, but they can also help you minimize the devastation of hurricane damage and the disruption it can cause your household.

Tips To Prepare For Hurricane Season

During Hurricane Irma, more than six million Florida residents evacuated before the Category 4 storm made landfall. Winds gusted to 142 mph near Naples, and 73 percent of the state lost electricity. It was the most expensive storm the state had ever seen, with damages topping $50 billion.   

Use these hurricane preparedness tips to protect against the four ways that hurricanes can damage your home.  

hurricane preparation infographic

1. Prepare for Hurricane Flooding

During Hurricane Matthew, the flooding in Florida didn’t just turn streets into rivers. The waters were so high in the panhandle that houses were submerged up to their roofs.

Flooding may be inevitable in a hurricane, and it’s very damaging to your home. FEMA reports that just one inch of water in an average home can result in $25,000 worth of repairs. A home with one foot of water could see a loss of more than $72,000.

Flood mitigation makes good financial sense. Not only can it help you avoid damage, but flood insurance companies may lower your insurance premiums by 15 percent for the same level of protection. Flood insurance companies may even contribute $1,000 toward installing flood mitigation systems like sump pumps.

You can make your home more resilient to flood damage by doing the following:

  • Install a sump pump: A key step in hurricane preparedness is installing a sump pump. If your crawl space starts to flood, a sump pump will automatically start pumping the water out. Speed is important because the faster you’re able to get water out of your house, the less flood damage you could experience.
  • Waterproof your home: Because crawl spaces (and the rare Florida basements) are at ground level or below ground, waterproofing can significantly affect how well your home can withstand rising floodwaters. Following an initial assessment of your home’s needs, professionals commonly recommend repairing foundation cracks where water could enter your home, installing drainage systems, and adding encapsulation.  
  • Secure your doors with sandbags: Once you’ve prepared the ground around your home, focus on your doors next. Place sandbags around them before the storm comes. This will help keep water out. If some water still gets in, your sump pump can handle it fast.

2. Prepare for Heavy Rain

During Hurricane Matthew, Orlando received over eight inches of rain. That’s like pouring about 8,000 gallons of water on a typical house’s roof! Without proper drainage, that water might flood your house. Here are some tips to get ready for hurricane rains.

  • Clear out your drains and gutters: If you’re dealing with a high volume of precipitation, this helps handle lots of rain. Use downspouts to direct rain away from your house, preventing leaks near your foundation.
  • Remove yard debris: Cleaning up your yard before a hurricane can help reduce the chances of a clogged drain during the storm. Remove leaves and sticks, and look at the trees on your property to consider any risky limbs that could fall and damage your roof.
  • Have tarps ready: If something does happen where you have rainwater coming inside, a tarp can help you manage the worst of the water damage.

3. Prepare for Hurricane Winds

When winds top 100 mph, you’ll start to see extensive property damage, but there are a few things you can do to prepare.

  • Cover your windows: Begin with the windows – they’re vulnerable. Use 5/8″ plywood as a protective layer. For a long-term solution, consider adding storm shutters. Understand this: if a window shatters during strong hurricane winds, it might create a force that could seriously harm your home.
  • Protect your doors: Beyond just windows, the wind can also easily damage garage doors. If the garage door gives in, your roof could be next. Consider investing in a wind-resistant garage door. Alternatively, enhance your current garage door with supportive braces or shutters.
  • Reinforce your roof: You can also prepare for a hurricane by reinforcing your roof. Hurricane straps and ties can secure the joints and improve your home’s ability to withstand hurricane winds. One of the strongest solutions is to anchor the roof, walls, and foundation together to create a continuous load path.

4. Prepare for Hurricane Outages

Power outages can cover a wide area and last for a long time. During hurricane recovery, speed is key to minimizing water damage. Here’s how you can prepare.

  • Add a backup battery to your sump pump: After a hurricane, getting power back can take a long time. During this wait, water can harm your house, and mold might begin to form. With a backup battery, you can still remove thousands of gallons of water from beneath your house, even if the lights are off.
  • Have a generator and ice ready: A generator lets you use tools and appliances even after the floodwaters are gone. Remember to store bottled water and stock up on ice to keep your perishables fresh longer.

Alpha Foundations Promise: Uncertain Weather. Definite Protection.

While a wet crawl space or problematic foundation is not new to those living in Tampa, Orlando, or anywhere in Florida, when you add in the extreme, uncertain weather a hurricane brings, a foundation problem is all but inevitable.   

Luckily, the trusted professionals at Alpha Foundations are experts in safeguarding your home during even the worst storms. From water management to the best foundation repair products, you can trust our team to ensure a dry, stable home for years to come.   

Our inspectors and installers live and work in your neighborhood, so they are familiar with the sandy, troublesome soil and intense weather that plagues Florida. Our engineered products come with a transferrable long-term warranty.   

Find out how Alpha Foundations can help you be prepared for a hurricane with trusted drainage, foundation, and crawl space repair solutions. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation inspection. 

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