Whether you have purchased your Florida dream home or one that needs some work to become the home of your dreams, hurricane preparation should be one of your primary considerations. Assessing your present home for hurricane readiness is important and you may want to consider working with professionals.
Timing is Everything
Florida’s hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30th, peaking from mid-August to October. It is often thought that only coastal cities such as Clearwater, Sarasota, and Tampa are at risk during a tropical storm but inland townships such as The Villages can be seriously affected by major wind and driven rain.
According to the NOAA Office of Coastal Management, the cost of hurricane damage is the highest in recorded weather disasters. What that means for homeowners is that protecting your home in advance of hurricane season is a financial move. Depending on what form of storm preparation product you decide on, you may want at least a six-week lead time to the installation of your product.
Options for Home Hurricane Preparation
There are several options for home hurricane preparation that will accommodate different budgets, styles of home, customer needs, and lifestyles. There are temporary measures, short-term upgrades, and long-term upgrades available to residents along the Gulf Coast.
A word about plywood – a temporary measure
Before we get into the different upgrade options, let’s get the idea of plywood out of the way. You may think that if worse comes to worst, this is a satisfactory form of hurricane preparation. Plywood, though found in any hardware store from Clearwater to St. Petersburg, from Tampa to The Villages, often runs out quickly in advance of a tropical storm. It is frequently a one-use-and-done solution that is not recognized by insurance companies for homeowner discounts. Moreover, plywood may not stand up to high-category winds and could, itself, become damaging wind-driven debris.
Short-term Hurricane Preparation Upgrades
Short-term upgrades are those that Gulf Coast homeowners put up and take down year after year. The hurricane preparation product is installed or deployed in advance of a tropical storm, and later store away when the danger is past. These include:
- Polycarbonate Panels – These are clear panels of extremely resilient material. Polycarbonate is first sized and cut, then anchors put into the wall well in advance of a storm. Once anchors are in place, it only takes minutes to put up each panel.
- Hurricane Fabric – Ballistic fabric is cut to accommodate uniquely shaped openings. In like fashion larger pieces protect openings such as garage doors. Given that anchors are permanently affixed around openings, it only takes a few minutes to deploy and protect your home before a hurricane arrives. Another key point is that hurricane fabric folds and stores in its own storage bag for next use.
Long-term Hurricane Preparation Upgrades
In contrast, long-term upgrades to a home, installed before a tropical storm, are permanent hurricane preparation fixtures or part of the home itself. They do not get stored and brought out when there is a hurricane warning in the Tampa Bay area. Convenient forms of storm protection, they get closed, locked, rolled down; and then conveniently opened, unlocked, and rolled up again. Many homes in Clearwater, Sarasota, and The Villages take advantage of these products. Examples are:
- Accordion shutters – As its name implies, these shutters fold on themselves like accordions and store on either side of the opening. Before a storm, the sides unfold to meet in the middle and lock. They work well for both windows and sliding glass doors.
- Motorized rolling shutters – Aluminum shutters that roll up overhead and out of sight are perfect for oversized doorways and garage openings. Operation is automatic with the flip of a switch.
- Bahama and colonial shutters – Not only are these hurricane-resistant shutters decorative but they are also very easy to close and lock. They protect your home from wind-blown debris, and intruders, and maintain curb appeal in the process.
- Motorized hurricane screens – Excellent solutions for large openings such as lanais, gazebos, and patios. Motorized storm screens also sync with smart home systems for convenience when away from home.
- Hurricane windows – Impact-resistant windows can replace existing windows. This hurricane preparation product needs no deployment in advance of a storm.
Protecting Your Home Beforehand – West Shore Construction
Hurricane season is sure to impact coastal Florida residents, inland to The Villages, and beyond. West Shore Construction has over 35 years of experience in quality hurricane preparation installation. Our customers recommend us for our top-notch customer service and our dedication to providing the best product for our client’s needs.
Contact us by sending a message on our website or calling 727-488-8182. Our highly trained experts will respond promptly and work with you and your budget. We are with you from opening conversation through installation and training on the use of your hurricane preparation product. Don’t wait, call today.