Winds and rains from hurricanes or tropical storms can cause significant damage to personal property. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety encourages residents to strengthen the critical elements of their property to protect it from hurricane damage.
The roof is a building’s first line of defense against Mother Nature, making it one of the most vulnerable points on a home or commercial building. Roof cover damage occurs in the vast majority of wind-related claims, and a compromised roof can allow high winds and wind-driven rain to enter a building.
“Roof damage is the most common claim we see after a hurricane,” said Sam Rooks, vice president of underwriting and policy services for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., an IBHS founding organization. “Significantly damaged roofs allow water to creep in and cause even more damage to a home. Reinforcing the roof before a hurricane is critical.”
Protecting all openings on a home or building from high wind or flying debris also is important. Failure of a large window or door can result in pressurization inside the building and the potential for damage.
Prepare surrounding property before a storm by limiting the sources of wind-borne debris. Trim trees and shrubbery, and if a storm is imminent, remove objects such as flags, lawn furniture and bird feeders. Tie down anything like a grill or satellite dish that cannot be moved easily but could cause damage in heavy winds, Rooks said.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1 and will end on Nov. 30. For tips on how to successfully protect your home, visit disastersafety.org/hurricane.