Hurricane season is underway, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts it to be a busy one.
The organization expects there to be between 11 and 17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes, 2-4 of which are anticipated to be category 3 or higher. And, the season began earlier than usual, with Tropical Storm Arlene making its way through the eastern Atlantic in April.
Considering that hurricane season is largely known as spanning from June 1 until Nov. 30, an April storm is atypical and potentially worrisome.
To prepare for what NOAA estimates could be an above-average hurricane season, homeowners must make adjustments to protect their homes and families. Changes can be minor or extensive, depending on the age and strength of a home, and how recently the latest upgrades were conducted.
For some people, the cost of proactive renovation could escalate quickly. It's important that price doesn't get in the way of safety, however. Dealers and remodelers can give their customers the opportunity to affordably make much needed changes by offering financing programs.
The roof is a home's main protection against the wind, rain, hail, lifted objects, falling trees and any other potential risks that arise during a hurricane. As such, a homeowner working to prepare for storm-related damage should start up top.
Homeowners should begin with a basic inspection. Ask your customers these three questions:
If the answer is yes to any of these, it's time for a roof repair, or maybe even a replacement.
After analyzing the roof as is, a homeowner may want to invest in hurricane straps or clips. These will be secured from the inside to reduce the chances of the roof being pulled off the house during extreme winds.
Roof damage can occur during hurricanes of any category, but a roof can become completely dislodged during category 3 or higher, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.
Certain techniques can help your roof stay secure during high winds, as illustrated in this video from IIBHS.
Homeowners need to be sure their windows, doors, vents and any other portals to the outdoors are fully secured and storm-proofed.
Dr. Tim Reinhold, IBHS senior vice president of research and chief engineer, explained that wind that gets into a home through windows and doors can contribute to roof removal during the storm. Reinhold implores that everyone in areas likely to be affected by hurricanes get storm shutters for all the windows and doors. He even gifted a set to his brother as a housewarming gift, according to the IIBHS.
Caulking around windows and doors adds another layer of protection, Money Talks News reported. Remember, any water or wind that can enter through even the smallest crack can cause extensive damage.
Reinhold also suggests:
One thing he doesn't advise?
Taping the windows.
When put up against winds as high as 74 miles per hour - and that's just a category 1 hurricane - tape does little in the way of protection.
This hurricane season, don't let customers walk away for fear of a large price tag. Help them make necessary improvements to keep their families and homes safe by offering a financing program. To learn about how, reach out to Aqua Finance.