Homeowner Prevention Can Mitigate Hurricane Damage
SERVPRO Hurricane Help for Florida
Hurricane season begins June 1st and continues through November 30th. That's for everywhere that is within the areas in this hemisphere that have even a minimal risk. For the East Coast and the Eastern Caribbean, the period to worry about is from mid-August to mid-September. And now, into the first week of October.
Hurricane storm damage in Jacksonville is caused by high winds that don't simply blow things around and pull roofs off of homes and commercial buildings. They also blow water into, through, over and under whatever may be in their path. It's this water that gets into places that home and business owners don't see even when inspecting for damage after a storm. Two areas that are particularly vulnerable are soffits and exterior seals. Soffits are the undersides of a variety of construction elements. These include an arch that is supported by piers or columns, a projecting cornice, chimney side or any exterior overhang of an eave. If these elements are not adequately secured, water can be blown in behind or underneath to soak and eventually rot the wood behind them. Not to mention that improperly fastened soffits can be ripped right off a wall by hurricane winds.
Fortunately, securing them is inexpensive and relatively easy using stainless steel screws and a polyurethane sealant. Dade County hurricane codes are now being followed throughout Florida to mitigate the effects of high winds and storm surges. First, use the sealant to form a continuous layer along the edge of the elements and the wall they are secured to. Be certain to use enough labor and clamps to hold the soffit in place and then firmly attach it to the wall with the screws. Be certain to research first and make sure the ones you use are long enough to hold everything in place when a hurricane will eventually strike. SERVPRO recommends that you request your insurance agent to set up an assessment for wind mitigation. Not only will this protect your structure better, but it could lower your insurance premium.
Exterior seals protect the interior of a home or business from wind and water at the weak points of a structure's surface. These are the cut-outs and other openings where electrical cables, pipes, and wall outlets enter into a home or commercial building. If they aren't properly protected, the wind will not just blow water inside, but also begin to damage walls and foundations. The right type of caulk will seal any opening, regardless of the exterior material (metal, stone or wood).
Protecting your home or business from hurricane winds and water is not an easy process, but every dollar and hour of labor in prevention is worth ten when it comes to clean-up and recovery. If a hurricane has gotten past your defenses, call us here at SERVPRO of Jacksonville South at (904) 762-8066 to begin the process of reclaiming your property and getting on with your life.