Tips for Homeowners for Hurricane Season!

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

It’s hurricane season, that’s pretty clear. What’s worse is the August September season, at least in Florida, is now extended through November. So, we are facing a longer season, more intense storms and hurricanes, and more frequent touchdowns which all spells disaster.  Yet many of the areas that are affected by natural disasters are some of the most desirable places on earth to live.  What to do? If you have clients living in these areas and you service them, you may want to share some of the following tips before a hurricane blows away a payday!  

If a home is fortified against such disasters, it of course becomes more desirable for those buyers determined to live in the area. 

  1. You can buy roof clips and window shutters at the more inexpensive end to reinforcements for doors and walls at the high end. If you do nothing to safeguard your home, at the very least, protect your family with an in-home safe room.

  2. May be worth the investment. Hurricane-resistant windows can increase your overall construction cost. However, they will offer great protection during storm season and can be very useful to protect the property and may be the reason you can get a reduced premium in your insurance cost. A good hurricane window will cost between $40 and $55 a square-foot, and this will include the frame and the hurricane-proof glass. Some studies have shown that by installing hurricane windows, the construction cost will be increased only by a few thousand dollars on a new home. On average, a hurricane impact door size 60" x 80" can cost about $1,900 while a sliding window 72" X 80" is around $1950. A single hung window costs  between $500 and $600, material only.

  3. Look into hurricane resistant doors as well. There are only some that meet the requirements. Best to Google the exact topic to find out who handles those doors, learn what they can resist and how much they cost.

  4. If in the middle of a closing with a buyer, advise them to order another home inspection if a hurricane has recently occurred.

  5. Post hurricane a homeowner definitely wants an inspection of his/her roof. This is possibly the most important part of a home inspection after a disaster as there can be hidden damage that only an expert can spot. Provided you did not lose your roof completely, a home inspector will need to check for missing shingles, compromised supports, and in serious cases, holes or structural damage. These will need immediate repair to prevent interior damage to your home and should be prioritized. You will also want to take a look at major electrical work to make sure it did not sustain severe damage.  A good home inspector will find the problems, even hidden ones, and may be able to steer you towards vendors who will fix them.

  6. If your home experienced large volumes of water inside from flooding or storm surges, you may want to consider a mold inspection. Check common areas where molds form to be sure you won’t uncover this costly issue down the road. Your inspector can also check your heating and air systems to make sure they did not sustain damage that would cause replacement. If hit with major debris, they may be compromised and your inspector can point these issues out to you. Mold can cause sinus infections or worse for the homeowner so this is a serious issue that must be addressed.

  7. Having a local home inspector provide a “damage report” post hurricane may help the homeowner expedite his/her insurance claim.

Comments (14)

William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

If I lived in a hurricane ara I wold buy brnad new nd make sure extra care in the contructions was taken to use re-enforcemsnt materials.

Sep 28, 2017 02:40 AM
Rhonda Sanderson

Agreed!!

Sep 29, 2017 08:36 AM
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Great tips ... sound advise.  I might add to be prepared after the storm by renewing your relationship with your roofer.  With two listings that suffered minor damage by the loss of some shingles, roofers seem to be scarce right now.. The common answer is they are too busy for small jobs.  One of my listings, under contract, lost two shingles and VA will not allow it to close without repair.  Fortunately for us, we had a roof job lined up for another listing prior to Irma and a simple strong arm tactic like, "You want the big job, fix the little job first."  Loved the Godfather.  "I am going to make you a deal you can't refuse."

Sep 28, 2017 04:00 AM
Rhonda Sanderson

I hear ya!  We had screens blow out on our screened in pool. Screen guys are booked until January and that's in Boca where only 80 mph winds went through!   We have all hurricane glass, fence but Mother Nature doesn't care and you can't stop tree damage.  :-(  

Sep 29, 2017 08:36 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Excellent advice... if you've already conducted an inspection... and a hurricaine has been through... it's just smart business to have another inspection prior to closing... to see what damage might have occured.

Sep 28, 2017 05:35 AM
Rhonda Sanderson

Totally. It will also give the buyer an idea of what they've already got protection-wise in the home. They can make adjustments to home after post hurricane inspection.   

Sep 29, 2017 08:37 AM
Brenda J. Andrew
ULTIMA REAL ESTATE - Corpus Christi, TX
Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX

This is great advice!  We have lots of homes that were set to close post hurricane, most have closed and only one has fallen through.  The other advice is to make sure the company has been doing business in the area for a while.  There are lots of hurricane chasers out there.  You want to make sure you hire people who are familiar with the area and the type of construction necessary for homes.  

Sep 28, 2017 11:13 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Rhonda- this is excellent information. I firmly believe that homes built with the newer codes will stand up much better than those that have not been reinforced. During IRMA we were at a friend's that was newly built and you would not have known there was any kind of storm outside. 

Sep 28, 2017 06:00 PM
Rhonda Sanderson

Completely true!  If an owner hasn't upgraded to hurricane protection this serves as a good test to where they are vulnerable! A post inspection will tell them what they need to re-enforce! 

Sep 29, 2017 08:40 AM
Helen Luna Fess
Don Watson Realty LLC - Honolulu, HI
Linking to community, source for Sellers and Buyer

Hawaii residents also get nervous during Hurricane season. Most people recognize that proactive actions can save lives & investments. Thanks for the tips !

Sep 28, 2017 06:05 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

We put $15,000 into hurricane resistant doors and windows in our condo in Jupiter Florida. It also cut our utility cost dramatically.

Sep 28, 2017 07:26 PM
Rhonda Sanderson

Worth it for peace of mind alone!

Sep 29, 2017 08:40 AM
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

# 7 is a really good idea. 

Sep 28, 2017 07:35 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Wonderful advice and I totally agree that homeowners going through a hurricane should have a roof inspection post-hurricane. Great advice!

Sep 28, 2017 09:03 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I just hope to help as many people as possible with four natural disasters happening in a two week, It's kind of making me want to help even in the small ways along with the big ones.

Sep 28, 2017 09:32 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Debe Maxwell, CRS I tend to get a lot of wisdom out of your blog posts as well whenever I read them. I hope you're doing great!

Sep 28, 2017 09:37 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

Well, thank you, Laura! How sweet of you to say that!

Sep 28, 2017 09:50 PM
Terry McCarley
Coastal Real Estate - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL
REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL

Great advice!  I hired a home inspector after my home had  hurricane damage and the inspector found several things I missed.

Sep 29, 2017 10:29 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I hope everybody stayed safe for hurricane season. I’m a little late getting to this post but I’m wishing you all well regardless! :)

Oct 24, 2017 10:17 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Terry, you can’t go wrong with a good inspector but can definitely go wrong with a bad one! Glad you got a good one! :) Terry McCarley

Oct 24, 2017 10:18 PM