Be Hurricane Ready: Your Checklist for Upgrading Your Home

By Ygrene on March 31, 2022

We’ve seen hurricanes get stronger and become more destructive in the past few decades. This means high winds, flying debris, heavy rainfall, floods, and more. These dangerous conditions aren’t just scary to live through — they can wreak serious havoc on your property. 

This is why it’s imperative that homeowners, like you, start hurricane preparation for their home as soon as possible. While it’s understandable to want to put off protecting your home against hurricanes for another year, it’s in your best interest not to. 

Besides, upgrading your home can mean potential savings and other benefits, too, with the help of companies like Ygrene, which specializes in financing for hurricane protection [NM9] improvements, so there’s really no better time to do it than right now. 

Read on to learn more about what you can do to prepare your house for hurricane season, and what kinds of home improvements to consider investing in today. 

1. Windows and Doors

Infant boy sitting on a windowsill with his hand against the glass window with rain drops

Protecting your home’s entryway is one of the most important places to start. Your instinct might be to tape your windows or doors shut, but this is in fact a waste of time, as it will not prevent them from shattering. 

Instead, invest in hurricane-impact windows and storm shutters. The former has glass that can endure large debris from wind, and aluminum casings that hold up against dry rot; while the latter can help eliminate air leaks and act as a barrier against wind. And for added protection to your doors, try ones made of thicker materials and hard-to-break impact-resistant glass. 

With improvements so impactful, it’s not a question of if you should make these upgrades, but when. If you’re wondering how, Ygrene offers PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing, which means you get the money you need right away at a competitive, fixed interest rate. Hard to argue with!

2. Roofing

The top of two gables of a white house

You’ve probably seen news coverage of roofs blowing off homes during hurricanes. To avoid that from happening to you, here are a few considerations to consider.

First off, metal, asphalt shingles, or slate roofing are all considered safe and durable options for homes in hurricane-prone areas. However, while asphalt shingles are a good low-cost solution, high humidity climates cause them to wear out quicker. This makes them more likely to fly away during a hurricane. Metal roofs are more likely to succeed during hurricane season because there are fewer edges to be lifted during a storm. 

Secondly, hexagon or octagon roof shapes are best for homes because multi-panel roofs reduce wind load. 

Lastly, it’s been shown that homes with four roof slopes fared better than homes with “gable roofs” or two slopes. 

Ygrene offers a few options for your roofing needs such as cool roofs, wind-resistant roofs, and green roofs. Start here to see if your home is eligible for an upgrade. 

3. Backup Generators

A man in a pink shirt and an older man in a gray shirt are on either side of a generator in a gray covering

A backup generator is probably one of those items you always think about getting, but you never go through with it. But there are many reasons why you should: you’ll have seamless power, your food won’t spoil (have you ever smelled a fridge with rotten dairy in it?), and you’ll be able to charge your devices immediately. Plus, you know better than anyone, power is sometimes out for days. 

Avoid that happening to you by immediately investing in a backup generator, which will offer you peace of mind. There’s no better time to do it than now, and with the help of Ygrene’s PACE financing program, it’s never been easier. With Ygrene, you get 100% no money down financing — which is great news all around. See if your home qualifies for an upgrade.

4. Bring in Outside Furnishings

A white patio with bright blue and yellow chairs and tables

The beauty of living in a place frequented by hurricanes is you get to spend a lot of time outdoors — which probably means you have patio furniture, an umbrella, a grill, and maybe some potted plants. To avoid having these items fly through your windows during a storm, be sure to bring them all inside or properly secure them once you know a hurricane is on the way. 

You can turn tables upside down if you don’t have room for them indoors; potted plants should be brought inside the house or garage; and umbrellas should be taken down, closed and likely brought inside, as well. The one thing that shouldn’t come inside is your gas grill, as having that indoors could be dangerous — instead, anchor it in place outside using bricks or wooden blocks.

5. Garage Doors

A double gabled yellow house with two white garage doors

Your garage door is one of the most crucial things for you to protect during storm season, as it’s the gateway, literally, to the rest of your home. If your garage door is compromised (think dented or caved in), it can damage your vehicles, not to mention all of the patio belongings you just stored inside. Which is all to say that taking the right steps to ensure your garage door stays in one (whole, attached) piece is important. 

One way to do this is by placing sandbags out front, in rows and stacked up over tarps, which will absorb runoff. Another is by sealing your garage door and windows with weatherstripping or tape to protect against leaks. Installing a drainage system in your driveway could work, too, as can simply fixing any structural holes or cracks that might be especially susceptible to wind damage.

6. Trimming Trees

A man is on a silver ladder in a large tree

After your first hurricane season, you probably started looking at your trees in a whole new way: beautiful still, yes, but also potentially hazardous. That is, if they’re not properly pruned. One of the top reasons for so many fallen trees during storms is that they’ve been improperly pruned or cut. 

So, to avoid your beloved trees from falling down and smashing your windows or cars during the next storm, make sure to get them pruned during early spring by a certified arborist. Cutting the tree root system is something to be avoided, as is removing more than a quarter of the tree canopy (the area where the outermost branches and leaves extend). 

Lastly, when your arborist is done with the job, make sure all tree stumps and trimmings are properly discarded, to avoid the debris being picked up by strong winds and causing damage to your house.   

Home Improvements are Important and Possible 

It’s easy to see why preparing and improving your house in anticipation of hurricane season is important. If you’re still wondering just how you’ll make the pricier improvements happen, wonder no more. Ygrene offers a simpler way to finance home improvements, which includes spending no money out of pocket, owing no payments until 2024, no minimum credit score required (yes, really!) and approval based primarily on home equity (which is why the latter is possible). Plus, you can prequalify for financing in just seconds

As a financing leader in Florida, Ygrene makes strengthening your home in preparation for hurricanes possible. In other words, what are you waiting for?