ORLANDO, Fla. – Forecasters predict the 2020 hurricane season to be above average, so now is the time to be prepared.
“First off, with the preparedness of the roof, what you want to do is, with hurricane season is check your insurance policy ... to make sure you’re properly insured,” Edwards said. “And then, for two, knowing what your deductible is when you get into a storm so you know what your financial responsibility would be if you have any damage.”
Edwards said there’s nothing you can really do when a storm is bearing down, so you should take the time beforehand to look for missing shingles or leaks.
[DOWNLOAD: News 6 Hurricane Preparedness Checklist]
“Contact your local roofer and kind of have those problems addressed,” he said. “Sometimes when storms come through, insurance companies like to use the word pre-existing conditions, and that is, like, the No. 1 no-no for a homeowner.”
Edwards also recommends recording video of your home, and be sure to include the date.
“That’s, like, most important, being able to document any kind of valuables,” he said. "When people have a storm, that’s the first thing you want to do is make sure that anything is documented outside of the home that could be of value. And then, after that, anything in the inside, of course, you want to make sure it’s in a safe spot when the storm is coming through."
When asked which type of roof is the best, Edwards said the technology in metal roofs is “amazing.”
“They can sustain, you know, up to a category 5 hurricane and then tile, of course. But those two things are expensive,” he said. “Any time you’re going to replace a roof, make sure that you’re working with the right roofer, (who’s) going to give you an actual warranty that is valid on an actual shingle product. Shingles are the most common product that we put on our roof that is cost-effective. But it’s all about the underlayment, so the underlayment to the roof is the actual thing that protects the actual water from going into your home."
Edwards said tree trimming is also key.
“Anytime you have a tree over your home, it’s definitely a risk,” he said, adding that trampolines and outdoor furniture also provide a risk during storm season.
“Anything that could blow around and affect your home -- and not only your home but your neighbor’s home,” should be secured or taken inside, he said.
Edwards said bottled water and charging stations for your phones are other items to keep on hand.
After a storm hits, you want to be sure to check everything thoroughly, and Edwards said his company offers free inspections.
“You want to have an inspection done after the storm no matter what, because damage actually breaks the seals underneath the shingles and so that’s something you can’t see from the ground. When the actual shingle is missing, that’s a no-brainer,” he said. “But having a local roofer come out and actually doing a proper inspection of the shingles to make sure that they’re -- everything is actually in place -- is key.”
He said his company would also inspect windows, gutters, siding and chimneys.
“If we get a storm that is a named storm that we have winds of 70 mph or more, you always want to have it checked out after the storm because of the word ‘preexisting conditions,’” Edwards said. So if you have it checked out and nothing is wrong, and your insurance company sees this, then if another storm comes through, they can’t blame it on the past storm, which happens all the time."
For more ways to prepare for hurricane season, visit ClickOrlando.com/Hurricane.