Top 5 mistakes made in hurricane prep

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Tim Kiser with AdvantaClean in Myrtle Beach joined News13 NOW at 9 a.m. on Wednesday to talk about the top five mistakes homeowners make when preparing their homes for a storm. His list of mistakes and tips is below.

  1. Use Sand Bags All Wrong! – “Bag” the sandbags if you don’t use them properly.
    • If you buy sand bags, fill them with sand and not soil, but don’t over fill them. Fill them only 2/3 of the way. If they’re over filled they won’t lay flat. If they’re underfilled they’ll leave gaps which will allow the water to seep through. Here’s a PHOTO  of properly filled sandbags.
    • Don’t put sandbags directly on top of each other. You need to lay them on the tied opening of the sandbag next to it and underneath it to build a proper wall to stop water.
    • To cover doors, duct tape a plastic tarp to the door and then lay down sandbags at the door’s opening as seen in this PHOTO. Sandbags alone without the plastic sheet may not stop water.
  2. Use Duct tape on windows! – Ditch the duct tape!
    • Duct tape does not stop windows from breaking. This is a PHOTO of what NOT to do.
    • Cover the outside of windows with shutters or plywood. When wind enters a home through broken windows the pressure builds and can lift roofs, collapse walls and allow water in.  
  3. Forget Outside Threats – Folks often forget dangers outside of the home that can cause extensive damage inside.
    • Clear debris from gutters and window sills because heavy rain causes water to drain unevenly, potentially damaging your roof or foundation.
    • Add a longer downspout extension  on your gutters to divert water farther away.
    • Trim trees and branches that could go flying through your window when the wind rips and the rain pours in.
  4. Wait for Leaks to start If you wait until you see leaks, it’s too late.  Preparation for leaks starts now.
    • Check every single window in the house to make sure they’re closed tightly
    • Before rain starts, place towels on the windows and buckets on floor. In heavy rains, you may have to change the towels and buckets several times. Remove wet towels and buckets or you risk mold growth which can start 24 hours after the rain hits.
    • Put aluminum foil or pie plates underneath furniture legs to prevent staining
    • Moisture control your basement or crawlspace with a moisture barrier.
    • Call a mold inspector so you know for sure if you have mold that can aggravate allergies and asthma and be deadly if not treated properly. Wet furniture, mattresses, pillows, carpets and upholstered furniture must go because they are breeding grounds for mold.
  5. Forget to take photos! – Homeowners often don’t have any proof of their belongings or the condition they were in before the storm. You should take photos of every room in your house, as proof for the insurance company.