June 7, 2013

Home Hurricane Protection Tips

It’s hurricane season in Virginia Beach. While most of us don’t think about the storm until it’s in our backyard, it’s important to plan ahead.

High winds from the storm can cause a lot of damage, but the flooding caused by the storm is the biggest problem. In fact, the Virginia Department of Energy Management states that flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in Virginia. If you have just one inch of water, it could cost you up to $8,000 in cleanup and repair!

Damp Crawl Space Problems
In the event that your area floods, don’t wait to dry out your crawl space since it can create a plethora of problems. A damp crawl space is the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew and wood rot. Not to mention that the damp crawl space air is also circulated through your home’s living areas, inviting dust mites in for a visit, courtesy of the stack effect.

Mold and dust mites are among the most serious allergens for people with asthma and allergies. Both of these pests thrive in a humid environment which is created by a damp crawl space. And if your crawl space floods because of hurricane season, you’ll end up with a damp crawl space.

Hurricane Preparation for Your Home
In addition to the normal hurricane preparation, you can take these additional steps to protect your home:

  • Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters overflow, and the water that’s meant to drain away from your home will end up draining right next to your crawl space foundation.
  • Extend your downspouts 7-10 feet away from your home. Extending your downspout drainage will help keep your crawl space dry in the event of heavy rain.
  • Check the grade around your home. If there are areas that don’t slope away from your foundation, fill them with soil to create a slope. This will help drain water away from your crawl space foundation.
  • If you’re in an area prone to flooding replace your crawl space vents with flood vents. Flood vents are designed to relieve the water pressure when your crawl space floods.
  • Check your sump pump. If you have a sump pump make sure it’s working properly. In the event of a power outage it’s always good to have a battery backup to ensure your sump pump will continue to work.
  • Check your insurance policy. Is flood damage covered?

Remember to take a few precautions before the storm. A few simple hurricane preparation steps can end up saving you a lot of money.

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