Depending on where you live in Florida, winter isn’t really a season. There’s the warm season, and then there’s the sweltering hot season. Even with all this warm weather and sunny days, our homes are still vulnerable to mother nature.
Florida is prone to severe weather, and hurricane season is not a season to take lightly. Residents should consider what can happen to their homes during a hurricane. Strong winds carry debris that can shatter windows and leave your home vulnerable to even more hurricane damage. Here are some of our favorite – and inexpensive – ways to weatherproof your home.
Install Sturdy Storm Shutters
Estimated Cost: $10-$20 per sq foot
Storm shutters can be expensive, but they’re worth it to weatherproof your home. Storm shutters may not protect the entire house all at once, but they will offer excellent protection for windows and doors. Sturdy shutters can help keep all the glass panes where they are supposed to be, in your windowpane and not all over your home.
You may also consider adding storm screens to your exterior windows and doors. Storm screens can help reinforce your windows and doors from strong hurricane winds and storm surges.
Replace Sliding Glass Doors
Estimated Cost: $300-$800
This is the most expensive weatherproof tip on our list, but an important one! Replacing sliding glass doors with storm-resistant models is essential to ensure that debris carried by strong storm winds doesn’t rip through your exterior doors into your home.
If you know a hurricane is on the way, try to reinforce your doors, including your garage door. Any existing doors not reinforced can leave your home open to vulnerability and extensive storm damage.
Trim Your Trees and Shrubs
Estimate Cost: $0-$200
Whether you do it yourself or hire help, trimming your trees and shrubs should be done annually. Trimming your trees and shrubs reduces the amount of loose debris that can be carried by wind and possibly damage your home. Also, trimming back tree limbs and branches makes it possible for weather professionals to safely clear any fallen trees in case a hurricane does make landfall near you.
Weatherproof your home with this simple tip! If you know a hurricane is coming, make sure to put away and secure all lawn furniture and landscaping decor. Strong winds can send debris flying, including your furniture, which can be completely exposed.
Get a Programmable Thermostat.
Estimated Cost: $35 to $200
In Florida, you typically don’t need to fret about rising heating costs on your energy bill. What you do need to think about, though, is how hard your air conditioning unit works year-round. Cooling costs can be just as expensive as heating costs.
Installing a programmable thermostat is the easiest step to weatherproofing your home. During non-peak times, like when you’re sleeping or on vacation, you can lower the temperature in your home to save money on your energy bills. Having the same temperature in your home can also keep your energy usage down.
Get a Water Heater Insulating Blanket
Estimated Cost: $15-$40
Did you know that insulating your hot water heater can reduce heat loss by 25 to 40%? Consider throwing on a blanket to make sure your hot water heater is cozy all year long. It’s important to note that not just any blanket will do. Using a blanket off of your bed is considered a fire hazard, so invest in the real deal if you’re undertaking this DIY project. Hot water heater blankets work wonders and are relatively inexpensive, considering all the money they will help you save on hot water costs and energy bills.
Have Your Roof and Garage Door Inspected
Estimated Cost: $0-$300
An important weatherproofing tip is to make sure your roof is in good condition. If you notice any leaks, loose shingles or tiles, or weather damage like rust or rot, call a professional weatherproofing company to inspect the integrity of your roof. A damaged roof can mean extensive damage inside your home. If a hurricane does head your direction, storm winds can cause significant damage to your roof. Having it inspected and reinforced now could prevent the roof from collapsing.
This would also be a good time to have our experts at Energy Monster check the insulation materials in your attic and ensure your home is energy-efficient. Even your Florida home should be well insulated to keep moisture out and prevent mold growth. Warm air and moisture can lead to disaster.
Clean Your Gutters
Estimated Cost: $0
Weatherization projects aren’t limited to the inside of your home. Cleaning your gutters will prevent water damage to your attic and protect your attic and ceiling insulation. Water damage not only causes structural damage if left untreated but also, your family may fall ill thanks to mold and mildew growth. All you need to get started is a ladder and a hose.
Cleaning your gutters ensures water doesn’t get backed up and there is a place for the water to flow. If water does get into your home, it may be prudent to get a sump pump to keep your basement and crawl spaces dry.
Call for Backup When Weather Strikes
Estimate Cost: $0
While you may be a superstar at DIY weatherization projects, sometimes you need a little help to make your efforts shine. You can think of the Energy Monster team as your backup dancers. We can help you fill in the gaps of your routine (literally) with our home energy audit and air sealing services to ensure you don’t have air leakage. And like most concerts, our home energy slots fill up quickly. Don’t be disappointed by a sold-out show and have to wait months for the next one. We’re here to help you out!
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