LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Checking roof tie-downs, soffit and facia, and adding extra security to doors and windows should all be part of the seasonal drill for homeowners, according to the Home Builders Association Manatee-Sarasota.
The organization sponsored a free hurricane preparedness seminar Monday.
New regulations determine what makes a home insurable against loss from hurricane winds and water, said Russell LeGrande, president of La Maison Homes.
Homeowners need to meet standards for protection to be eligible for insurance discounts.
For example, he said, glass block is considered a masonry item, but insurers rate it as an open area requiring extra cover or protection during a storm.
"With the rates going up, there are going to be new insurance carriers coming in," said LeGrande, who also works as a home inspector.
"Typically most windows were not installed with the same amount of fasteners that new windows are required to have," said Alan Anderson, executive vice president of HBAS-M. "If it's not recognized, there's no credit for your insurance mitigation."
Temporary emergency shutters range from the popular plywood, which must be at least 7/16th-inch thick to be effective, to electric roll-down hurricane shutters. The homeowner must verify soffits are attached to roof framing at intervals shorter than a foot apart and roof coverings are solid.
Flashing, too, is important for the roof.
"As part of strengthening your home, where possible the roof framing needs to be connected to the wall below it," Anderson said. This is typically accomplished with galvanized metal plates commonly referred to as hurricane clips or straps."
Garage doors need vertical and horizontal braces to be effective against moving objects, the presenters said. All landscaping, including stones and birdbaths, need to be secured or placed indoors.
After the storm, deal only with licensed contractors and professionals. The Disaster Contractors Network (dcnonline.org/) lists businesses with licenses, including some allowed into a state during an emergency.For information, contact the Florida Home Builders Association at fhba.com/. Dee Graham, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 7024 or tweetnote>