5 hidden hurricane risks for Gulf homeowners

skylights

In the Gulf states Arturo analyzed for her report (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina), there are over 691,000 homes with skylights. While these features can add that much-desired natural light to a home, they can deteriorate and leak over time. Of course, this is not ideal in a tropical storm or hurricane. Because of their location on roofs, skylights are also particularly vulnerable to flying debris and hail. According to HomeAdvisor, skylight replacement costs an average of around $1,700, not including the damage to the home caused by the violation.

(Source: Shutterstock.com)

air conditioners

Hurricane-prone states in the US are also among the warmest, so it’s not surprising that around 6.5 million homes in the Gulf States have floor air conditioning. Not only are these units vulnerable to tropical storm and hurricane flooding, but they are also expensive to replace (averaging about $5,600).

(Source: Rico Löb/stock.adobe.com)

solar panels

Over 257,000 Gulf homes have solar panels, and while these panels are typically waterproof and reasonably windproof (if properly secured), the problem is whether they are properly insured. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to install something like solar panels on their home and then neglect to let their agent know, but it’s important to make sure they’re properly covered before storms hit.

(Source: Elenathewise/Adobe Stock)

swimming pools

Pools can be an attractive addition when buying or building a home, but protecting them during hurricane season can take a little work. According to Arturo’s report, it’s important to leave pools uncovered, keep them filled and ensure all electrical pool equipment is turned off and protected when storms are expected.

(Source: Source: dvoevnore/Adobe Stock)

trampolines

This might seem a little obvious – since trampolines are typical victims of wind – but storms can not only damage trampolines, but they can quickly turn them into missiles as they blow up. In order to prevent this danger, it is important to anchor trampolines or to dismantle them completely if the wind is expected.

(Source: Alinute Silzeviciute/Shutterstock.com)

With climate change and a potentially higher-than-average hurricane season, more and more insurers along the Gulf Coast are taking a proactive approach, creating action plans with their policyholders to best prevent damage from storms.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted an active 2022 hurricane season, with a potential for 14-21 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes (winds greater than 110 mph).

These winds are harsh on roofs, and careful selection of roof material and shape is especially important for homes in hurricane-prone areas. According to a recent Arturo report on hurricane and golf home exposure, asphalt shingles are the most common type of roof (71.9%), followed by concrete tile (13.5%) and metal (6.1%). However, traditional asphalt roofing—even when new and in good condition, which many aren’t—can’t withstand winds in excess of 110 mph, so a more wind-resistant choice like metal would be better suited to prevent roof loss in hurricane-prone areas.

The shape of your roof also plays a role when it comes to hurricane resilience. According to Arturo’s report, 42.3% of homes in the states they studied have hipped roofs and 49.6% have gabled roofs. Hip roofs are roofs where all sides slope down with no vertical ends, while gabled roofs have a wall that extends up between the roof edges. There is evidence that hip roofs perform better in winds due to their strong structural construction, but gabled roofs are cheaper to build, making them a popular choice.

In the slideshow above, we look at some of the more hidden hurricane exposures homeowners should consider as they prepare for a stormy 2022 season, courtesy of Arturo’s report, Hurricane Exposure: The State of Gulf Homes.

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