Snowbird to Do List: Protecting Your Winter Home from Hurricanes

It’s nearly that time again, when snowbirds fly south for the winter. Though you may have renters or a home-watch service to maintain your southern home, it’s never quite the same as taking care of it yourself, is it? Though only for a few months out of the year, it is still your home, and as such you want to protect it from Florida’s often turbulent weather. Keep reading for some things to keep in mind when you’re at your home away from home this snowbird season.

 

Storm Damage

This year’s hurricane season has been a busy one already, so of course the first thing on your To Do list will be to inspect your home for any signs of storm damage. Even if your home has been occupied by renters or monitored during your off-season, you will be more likely to spot details that others may have missed. Look for the first signs of water damage, mold, or mildew, or any evidence of decay in walls, ceiling, or flooring. The sooner these hazards are remedied, the better.

 

Roof

Check your roof for any signs of leaks or damage. No matter how small, these should be fixed right away so as not to worsen when the next storm blows through. If you’re unsure about the safety of your roof, call an inspector. It’s worth the peace of mind.

 

Gutters

Hopefully, your home made it through Irma unscathed. However, don’t let the absence of obvious damage fool you into thinking your home is unaffected. After a serious storm, gutters can easily clog with greater-than-usual amounts of debris. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool around the foundation of your house, leading to water damage, and even cracking of the foundation. Clean your gutters and make sure none of them are broken.

 

Windows and Doors

For snowbirds who leave their southern homes vacant during the warmer months, this point is especially important. Are your windows and doors protected? From potential intruders and from storms? Locks simply aren’t enough. If you don’t already have storm shutters or impact windows, contact us today. If you already do have storm shutters, make sure they are maintained and in good shape. All Castle shutters are made from highly-durable aluminum making them impervious to rot and damage, but this may not be the case with other brands. Check that your shutters are in good working order and, if you have rolling or folding shutters, determine if they need lubrication. If you have any doubt about the safety of your windows and doors, contact us today. Estimates are always free.

 

Trees and shrubs

Check up on the trees and shrubs around your home. Any dead limbs, signs of decay, or overgrowth? Making sure your landscaping is under control kills two birds with one stone. Not only are overgrown trees and shrubs a sign to potential intruders that your home is vacant, but they can also be hazardous during a storm.

 

A Final Word of Advice

Although you’ll probably want to spend as much time as possible soaking up the Florida sun, don’t wait until a week before returning north to finish this To Do list. Instead, start as soon as you arrive. That way, if you encounter any problems that require time to fix, you’ll have plenty of it, and your season in the Sunshine State will be stress-free.