Hurricane season is in full swing. While we’re lucky that Raleigh-Durham is so close to the beautiful North Carolina coast…the downside is that hurricane forces occasionally make their way up to the Triangle. You’ve probably thought a lot about how to be prepared inside your home, but what about preparing your outdoor living spaces? Being proactive is essential for minimizing costly damage from heavy winds and flood waters. Please read below about how to prepare your deck, porch, three-season room, or patio for dangerous weather:
Preparing Your Deck or Patio for a Hurricane
The simplest task for protecting your deck and patio during a hurricane is to make sure there is nothing loose that can be thrown around by the wind, causing damage to your home or outdoor space. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Patio furniture
- Grills, smokers, and coordinating propane tanks (propane tanks should be disconnected and stored upright in a protected area)
- Patio umbrellas
- Garden tools and hoses
- Bird feeders
- Potted plants and hanging baskets
- Landscape/yard accessories and ornaments
- Hot Tub covers
- Temporary/unsecured pergolas or awnings
- Children’s bikes and toys
Other steps you may want to take include:
- Examine your deck for loose boards or railings and secure them. Try to use wood-specific screws as they hold much better than traditional nails.
- Check all gates and fences to make sure they are secure and are latched.
- Disconnect decorative deck lights or speakers and store them indoors.
- Turn off any gas or electricity that is connected to your deck or patio.
- Trim overhanging branches that might fall on your deck, porch, or patio. (This is a better task for before hurricane season begins when you’re not in a rush to prepare!)
Preparing Your Porch or Three-Season Room for a Hurricane
In addition to securing or storing all large and moveable objects outside of your home, your porch or three-season room may need some additional protection.
- Turn off the power to your porch from your electrical box.
- If you have bird feeders, wind-chimes or other accessories hanging on or in your porch, you should store them safely inside your home.
- If you have a television or other items that cannot withstand the elements, you may want to bring them inside. Hurricane winds can cause rain to saturate areas of your porch that normally stay dry.
- If your porch door has a deadbolt lock, you may want to lock it to help prevent the door from swinging open and possibly causing damage.
If you have Eze-Breeze windows, you can protect them from a hurricane in one of three ways:
- If your porch has railings, you can push all of the Eze-Breeze panels to the bottom, so they are stacked between the rails and window screen.
- If your porch has a knee wall or no railings, you can push all of the panels to the top, stacking them behind one another.
- The safest way to protect your Eze-Breeze windows is to remove the panels altogether and store them in a safe place. Just make sure to note which window each panel belongs to, as they are specific to each opening.
How to remove and reinstall your Eze-Breeze panels:
- Start with the innermost panel (bottom panel).
- Raise the bottom panel approximately 1”, release the thumb latches and tilt the panel in.
- Lift one side of the panel to remove the pin at the bottom of the panel from the track.
- Carefully remove the panel, mark the panel number, and set aside. Repeat with the remaining panels. Note: Marking each panel will help you replace them in the proper order.
- To replace your Eze-Breeze panels, reverse the procedure.
Removal instructions credited to PGT Industries Eze-Breeze.
While all of these tips are meant to help you protect your outdoor space from a hurricane, if time is of the essence you should stop preparing and take shelter or evacuate immediately, as recommended by local officials. Protecting yourself and your family is the #1 priority.
We hope everyone stays safe during this and every hurricane season. If you have any questions about the safety and protection of your specific outdoor living structure, give Archadeck a call today: 919-973-1523.