Hurricane season runs from June 1 through the end of November for Eastern states and starts in mid-May for states bordering the Pacific Ocean. In addition to investors watching market prices and housing trends, it is wise for those in storm-prone regions to also keep an eye on weather reports. Whether there is another Super Storm Sandy or Hurricane Irma on the horizon, or the storm season looks to be mild, investors can take a few steps to prepare their properties for any bad weather contingency.
1 – Ensure windows make the grade.
There are several ways to make sure windows hold up against high winds and, most importantly, flying debris caused by hurricanes and tornados. Clear plastic hurricane film may not prevent windows from breaking, but it may prevent someone inside the home from being injured by flying glass or debris. Storm shutters are also affordable and may even earn you insurance discounts.
If you’re renovating a home prior to renting, it might be worth it to consider impact-resistant windows designed to withstand winds up to 200 mph. Florida homes constructed after 2001 are mandated to have hurricane-resistant windows, so if you are in a storm-prone region and replacing the windows, upgrading to hurricane-proof models could increase the resale value and potentially lead to a faster sale, too.
2 – Strengthen the roof to prevent leaks and damage.
If the roof on your fix and flip investment is over 15 years old, you probably factored roof replacement into your renovation budget. But even a newer roof can face issues during a tornado or hurricane.
If you don’t plan on fully replacing the roof, consider having a roofing contractor do an inspection and shore up weak spots. The contractor should replace loose or missing nails, use roofing cement to patch holes, and utilize construction adhesive to strengthen connections between the roof deck and rafters. It might be worth the investment to install hurricane straps and clips; also ask about insurance discounts for this upgrade.
3 – Monitor the house with a WiFi-enabled water sensor.
Whether you have a rental property that’s between tenants or a fix and flip investment that hasn’t sold yet, you want to make sure the property is protected from flood damage and seepage. Install an alarm system with a water sensor that will alert you of a leak or a flood via a message to your smartphone.
Passive alarms are affordable and easy to install. You can even move them to another property once you flip the house. An active system, which costs more and requires professional installation, can also turn off the water source if an appliance starts to leak. This type of system can encourage a faster sale or give your tenants greater peace-of-mind if they aren’t home.
Taking just a few small steps to get set for storm season can give you and your tenants peace of mind all year long.
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