Avoid these common mistakes when preparing for storms - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Avoid these common mistakes when preparing for storms

Don't make these common mistakes when preparing for hurricanes. (Source: FEMA) Don't make these common mistakes when preparing for hurricanes. (Source: FEMA)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

Last year, Hurricane Matthew caused millions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses.

Homeowners can prevent some of that damage by avoiding some common mistakes.

Tim Kiser with Advantaclean shared some helpful tips on WECT News First at Four.

Sandbags:

Fill 2/3 of the bag so the end flap can be tied and folded over for a tighter stacking placement.

Overfilling the bag will create gaps because the bags can't be stacked as tightly, allowing water in.

Use sand because it's less permeable, and won't degrade as quickly as dirt if it gets wet.

Storm drains:

Make sure you clean them thoroughly before a storm.

First, water will overflow onto your home itself which will rot facia, windows, undermine the foundation, etc. Also, water could flow into your attic.

Any debris in your gutter could also be picked up by strong winds and hurled against your home, your neighbor's homes or at cars.

Downspout extenders:

Make sure storm water run-off is directed far away from your home's foundation

Windows:

Don’t use duct tape; it will NOT prevent your windows from breaking. Plus, a broken window can allow pressure to build inside your home, creating massive uplift to literally blow your home apart.

It's a good idea to check window seals frequently for cracks, which could allow moisture in, especially from the driving, multi-directional rain. If leaks appear, be ready with towels and buckets

Insurance:

Take pictures of your home before the storm, both inside and out. If your home is damaged, call your local agent as soon as possible so he can get your damage claim started. It's best to call the agent, not the 800 number.

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