Hurricanes substantially threaten properties and lives, particularly in areas prone to natural disasters. Homeowners face significant issues, from property damage and potential displacement to financial burdens and emotional stress. These storms can rip apart buildings, topple trees, and transform everyday items into dangerous projectiles. One area of the home particularly vulnerable to hurricanes is the patio, a common space for relaxation and family gatherings. While you may have prepared your home’s exterior for a hurricane, have you given your patio the same thought?
Understanding Your Patio’s Vulnerabilities
Open-air patios may leave your home especially vulnerable to damage from hazardous projectiles. If your patio is not screened off, please consider the following safeguarding tips:
- Outdoor Furniture: Both lightweight and bulky furniture could become threats during a hurricane, despite the heavy items seeming secure due to their weight. Use chains or storm straps to tether them to a sturdy base to prevent this. Lighter furniture should ideally be moved indoors or into a secure outdoor shed. If indoor storage is limited, you can bound these items together and secure them with bungee cords or robust straps. You can even put you outdoor furniture in your pool to keep it safe as well!
- Potted Plants and Decorations: Strong winds can quickly sweep up smaller items like potted plants and garden decorations. It’s advisable to relocate these items indoors. Group those too large or heavy to move in a protected location and cover with a durable tarp, securing tightly with ropes or bungee cords.
- Grills and Outdoor Cooking Appliances: Grills, outdoor heaters, and other cooking appliances can pose significant risks during a hurricane. If these can’t be moved indoors, they should be firmly covered and anchored to prevent movement. Use a tight-fitting cover specifically designed for your equipment, and consider additional straps for enhanced security.
In addition to preparing your own property for a hurricane, it’s important to be mindful of the readiness of neighboring properties. A neighbor’s lack of hurricane preparedness can have significant consequences on your property. Unsecured items on a neighbor’s porch or yard can transform into dangerous projectiles when carried by high winds, damaging your home, vehicles, and other property.
Furthermore, the absence of protective measures like hurricane screens can lead to broken windows or doors, allowing winds to enter and potentially causing structural damage to a neighbor’s home. This damage may not only be confined to their property, but the debris can further contribute to the flying projectiles threatening your property. Communication and community preparedness are crucial in ensuring that all properties in the vicinity are adequately secured to withstand the storm. Engaging in a dialogue with your neighbors about hurricane preparedness and the mutual benefits of ensuring all outdoor items and structures are properly secured can be beneficial.
Protect Your Patio With Hurricane-Resistant Materials
In the face of a hurricane, the strength and resilience of the materials used in and around your patio can make all the difference.
Window Protection: Whether it’s hurricane screens, panels, or shutters, having some form of hurricane protection on your windows will ensure that patio debris won’t damage the exterior or interior of your home. Home Safety Solutions offers many products that can help.
- Atlas Armor’s roll-down screens, made from a durable polyester and aramid blend, are the only ones approved by Miami-Dade for High-Velocity Hurricane Zones. Offering daily protection from sun, rain, wind, and insects, they maintain your view while blocking up to 95% of harmful sun rays. Easily adjustable for comfort and privacy, our fade-resistant screens come with a 10-year fabric and 5-year motor warranty.
- Nautilus Rolling Shutter System: This compact, versatile system provides superior protection and is perfect for hurricane-prone regions, storefronts, and large patios. Easily operated manually or via remote control, the Nautilus boasts impressive durability and strength, passing rigorous impact tests for non-High and High-Velocity Hurricane Zones. These shutters are made from high-grade aluminum alloy and stainless steel, it ensures your property is safeguarded with style.
EZ Max screens: These screens are adept at deflecting wind, thereby reducing pressure on your patio’s structure and preventing potential damage. They also provide a solid barrier against dangerous projectiles, with their durable materials — often a strong synthetic fabric or metal — designed to withstand the harsh conditions of a hurricane. Beyond their protective capabilities, these screens offer the added advantage of visibility, enabling you to monitor storm conditions without exposure to the elements. Furthermore, many models prioritize user convenience, and are designed for easy installation and removal.
Selecting the right materials can significantly improve the hurricane resistance of your patio. While this might require a certain level of investment, their security and peace of mind are well worth it.
Preparation, though, should extend beyond your property lines; discuss hurricane readiness with your neighbors to prevent unsecured items from becoming dangerous projectiles. Comprehensive preparation minimizes potential damage to your property and contributes to your community’s overall safety during a hurricane.
Consider Converting Your Open Air Patio to a Lanai
Switching your open-air patio to a hurricane-grade protective lanai is an excellent strategy to safeguard your property from extreme weather conditions like storms and hurricanes. Here are some key advantages:
- Enhanced Structural Integrity: A hurricane-grade lanai is designed to withstand intense winds and rains, strengthening your home’s overall structure.
- Barrier Against Flying Debris: A hurricane-grade lanai’s strong screen and frame can prevent damage from flying debris, a common issue during hurricanes.
- Outdoor Furniture Safety: A protective lanai offers a secure space for outdoor furniture during a storm, eliminating the need to move everything indoors.
- Minimization of Water Damage: By providing a shield against rain, a hurricane-grade lanai can significantly reduce potential water damage to your property from heavy rains.
- Property Value Increase: Along with its protective features, a hurricane-grade lanai could boost your property’s value, which could be beneficial if you decide to sell.
- Potential Insurance Benefits: Due to their enhanced protection, insurance companies may offer lower premiums for homes with hurricane-grade lanais.
Remember, the effectiveness of a lanai in protecting your property largely depends on its quality and the expertise of the professionals who construct it. Always opt for high-quality materials and experienced contractors.
Recovering and Repairing Your Patio After a Hurricane
It’s important to have a strategic plan in place to recover from a hurricane’s aftermath:
- Damage Assessment: After a hurricane, it’s essential to determine the extent of the damage to your patio. Safety should be your primary concern during this step. Inspect your patio and the surrounding area cautiously, being aware of potential hazards like shattered glass, sharp objects, damaged wires, or unstable structures.
- Documenting Damage for Insurance Purposes: Once the area is deemed safe, begin documenting the damages. Take clear, high-resolution photographs of all the affected areas. Pictures should include wide shots to provide context as well as close-ups to highlight specific damage. These photographs serve as crucial evidence when filing insurance claims and can help ensure you receive appropriate compensation. Promptly report the damage to your insurance company to start the claims process.
- Cleanup and Repair: Initiate the cleanup process. This can include removing debris, repairing minor damages, or temporarily patching up areas to prevent further damage. For more extensive repairs, or large tree or branch removal, consider hiring professionals. It’s important to understand the scope of repairs needed and to evaluate whether they are within your capabilities or best left to experts. Always prioritize safety over cost savings when deciding on DIY versus professional repairs.
While there’s much you can do on your own to protect your patio from a hurricane, take into account the value of professional help. Whether it’s evaluating the durability of your patio, installing hurricane-resistant features, or advising on repair work after a storm, professionals bring expertise that ensures you’re on the right track. Remember, the goal is not just to survive the hurricane but to come out on the other side with minimal damage and a swift path to recovery. With proper preparation, the right materials, and professional advice, your patio can be well-equipped to weather the storm.
If you are seeking hurricane protection for your property, please contact the trusted experts at Home Safety Solutions!