Taking action before a storm hits is one of the top ways to prevent mold after a hurricane. It can help protect your home from water damage in the first place as well as reduce the opportunity for mold to grow.
Steps you should take include:
Install and activate sump pumps or french drains. These will help direct any pooled water away from the home so that it doesn’t continue to build up and cause mold after a hurricane. If possible, get a battery-operated backup pump as well, so that it can still be used in the event of power loss.
Check out the siding of the home: If there are any cracks or structural issues, get these repaired as soon as possible.
Close and lock all doors and windows: This will keep the house locked down during the high winds from the storm.
Deploy any window and door protections: This can include storm shutters, storm doors, or any other protective measure you have. In lieu of this, consider placing temporary protection such as plywood along the surfaces.
Clean out the gutters and make sure that they’re ready for the oncoming watery event. This will help properly divert as much water as possible from the home. Addi
Check the flashings along the roofline. If they’re bent, rusted, cracked, or not in great condition in any way, quickly repair them.
Assess sealings around doors and windows: If you notice any cracks or gaps, reseal these as soon as possible so that moisture doesn’t get in. Also, check any other openings such as vents and exterior lighting.
Create a list of professionals to contact to help handle the situation properly: This can include a qualified remediation team, a qualified mold inspector, professionals who can repair anything in the home, insurance companies, and contractors for major construction damage. Everyone you'll need to handle the water damage and mold after a hurricane should be on this list.
Elevate appliances and utilities: This will not only help you save money, but also help your home continue to function properly after a large storm. The use of utilities can help you dry out your space faster, which is key to avoiding mold after a hurricane.
Make sure you have a generator ready and that it’s in working order: With hurricanes often comes a loss of power, which can interfere with the sump pump’s ability to drain water.
Take a close look at the roof for any issues: This is a major line of defense during hurricanes, so ensure that there are no holes, loose shingles, or any other issues that can allow for water damage.
Move as many nonporous items as possible to a higher elevation: These take longer to properly dry out and are much more difficult to decontaminate if mold after a hurricane occurs in your home.
Double-check the property for any cracks in the foundation: If you find any, make sure to resolve them as soon as possible before the oncoming inclement weather so that moisture doesn’t sneak inside.
Ensure that the flood drain plug or backwater valve is in good condition and is working properly: This will help prevent water or sewage from backing up into a home.
Create an after-hurricane tool kit: This should include everything you’ll need to quickly and effectively dry out the space, which is crucial in helping prevent mold after a hurricane. The kit should include a shop vac equipped for wet vacuuming, botanical cleaning products, a mop, microfiber towels, and a dehumidifier.
Deploy flood barriers around the property: These are designed to prevent water from entering a home, which can help avoid mold after a hurricane. Pay special attention to any openings such as doors and garages.
Install braces and/or horizontal beams along the garage door: These will help protect the door from strong winds and debris.
Inventory trees for any issues: Remove dead branches or other hazards that can get tossed around during a storm.
Check the soffits along the home and make sure that they’re installed correctly with enough fasteners: If they’re not, they can be ripped away and create an opening for moisture to get inside the home. Resolve any issues that you find before the storm comes through.
Bring in all outdoor furniture and belongings: These can get whipped around by the wind and cause structural damage to a home.
Secure any items outside: This can include fencing, sports equipment, decking porches, and anything that could be blown around during the storm.
Create an inventory of belongings for the home and take pictures: This will be incredibly beneficial for working with the insurance company.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a great foundation to get started on to ensure you’re doing everything you can to protect your home and prevent mold after a hurricane.
To learn more about protecting a home from water damage from a hurricane, click here.
To learn more about protecting your home from mold after a hurricane hits, click here.
To learn more about whether or not your insurance will cover you for mold after a hurricane, click here.
To learn more about checking for mold after a hurricane hits, click here.
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