In the wake of Hurricane Harvey that struck Texas this past week, it raises awareness for anyone in an area that is affected by hurricanes to be prepared both during and after a storm. For real estate investors that have properties located in one of these storm-prone zones, it is essentially important to know what to do in order to protect that fix and flip or rental investment from damage. In Part 1 of this blog, here are some absolutely necessary precautions investors should take when it comes to securing their property before a storm. Make sure to check out Part 2 where we discuss what investors should do to assess the damage on their investment properties after the storm has passed.
Talk to Your Tenants
If you are a landlord, the first thing you need to do with tenants is have a conversation. Give them your contact information and make sure you get theirs in the event something happens and you need to reach each other. Let them know if you are planning on turning off anything that could potentially cause a problem during the storm such as a main water valve or a propane tank.
Converse with Your Contractor
If your property is undergoing a fix and flip renovation, it is essential that you and your general contractor talk and plan ahead. What are they going to do about that half-finished roof? What precautions do they suggest for structural additions to avoid the least amount of damage? What are any ways they can suggest to secure your property better? These are all important things to discuss and resolve before any hurricane starts.
Check Gutters and Rain Spouts
You’ll want to make sure your rain gutters are completely clear of any blockages that could prevent the excessive running water from clogging and ending up in your attic or roof. Do a thorough check of any spouts and get rid of leaves, branches, or anything else that may cause an obstruction.
Seal and Secure Windows and Doors
You’ll want to do whatever you can to prevent doors or windows from being blown in during the storm. If those winds manage to get into your home, you could be looking at serious damage to the structure of your investment property. Seal your windows and doors with new caulking to make sure no water can seep through. Putting up hurricane shutters or installing hurricane-impact windows will also go a long way at preventing any windows from shattering during the storm.
Use Boards if Necessary
If your property doesn’t have shutters, purchase wooden boards and start nailing. If you are a landlord, you’ll want to protect that rental property at all costs. Determine with your tenants who is going to put up these boards because it may not be a tenant’s responsibility to do this.
Secure Garage Doors
People may not realize that garage doors come with a high potential for blowing off during heavy winds and rains. Installing a stronger garage door that is built to withstand intense storms or purchasing a garage door reinforcement kit can be lifesavers when a hurricane hits.
Have Your Roof Inspected
Your roof is critical to your home and takes quite the beating during a hurricane. When you know a storm is coming, make sure you have your roof thoroughly inspected. Secure any loose tiles or shingles and patch all holes immediately. Investors can also purchase hurricane straps to keep a roof firmly attached to the house.
Trees can become very dangerous during a storm. If your property has huge trees looming over it, you may want to consider trimming heavy branches that could possibly be knocked down by gusty winds and either damage your roof or shatter a window.
You want to avoid having anything outside that could become destructive and break windows or sliding doors. Make sure your tenants bring in any lawn furniture, tables, chairs, umbrellas or patio accessories. For your fix and flip projects, talk to your contractor and ensure he is storing any construction equipment or building materials safely inside.
Update Your Insurance Policy
It is very important to give your home’s insurance policy a quick review and see what exactly is covered and what isn’t. Some insurance doesn’t cover flood damage caused after the storm. Update your policy for all necessary coverage to save yourself the headache afterwards when it comes time to file claims for damages and repairs.
You can never be too prepared as a real estate investor, and that includes financing for that next big investment deal. Apply for a fix-n-flip or rental loan with LendingOne. Get started today and receive your free instant rate quote.