The 2022 hurricane season starts on Wednesday, June 1, and is officially in force through the end of November. Anyone who has experienced even a strong unnamed storm here on the Gulf Coast can attest to the damage that strong gusts and driving rain can cause. But when a hurricane takes aim at your region, it will wreak havoc on your outdoor living spaces if proper precautions are not taken. This year, read through these tips to make sure your backyard living area is prepared to face the brunt of the season.

outdoor living spaces

  • Reinforce your screened areas: The screening that we have around our pools comes in handy to allow users to enjoy the pool without worrying about mosquitoes or other bugs. However, these structures often require reinforcement to stand up against hurricane-level winds. If not properly secured, they could collapse or blow off and cause damage to your property (or a neighbor’s). Replace any areas of torn or stretched screen, and check the footings of the enclosure to make sure it is well secured in the ground. Check for areas where the structure is weak or damaged and replace those as well.
  • Check your door latches: Screened doors and storm doors need to be able to latch and lock properly when a storm is coming; if they get blown open, a wind gust could tear off the entire door. Replace any weak latches and add strong locks on the doors to keep them from blowing open.
  • Put away any untethered items: Patio furniture, garden ornaments, tools, and even grills should be stored inside a secure structure before the storm hits. Though many of these items are heavy, strong winds may be able to pick them up; they can cause serious damage to people and property when blown. Alternatively, you can anchor these items with strong tethers to keep them in place. Use cables to tie your grill or patio furniture to the slats in your deck, or you can drill eye-ring screws into the concrete slab on which your grill sits and anchor the cables there.
  • Prepare your trees: Trees’ root systems do well to hold them in place once they are established, but young or injured trees have a high likelihood of falling during strong winds. Use stakes and tethers to support young trees and prevent them from blowing over. Before the storm comes, you should also cut down any branches that appear damaged, weak, or dead so that they do not break off and hit something. Pay particular attention to any trees that are close to power lines, as these have the potential to cause extreme damage, power outages, and fires. Bring any potted plants inside, or at least place them next to a structure that can break some of the wind.

No one can guarantee that they won’t sustain any damage from powerful storms, but there are many things you can do to decrease the chances of property loss and damage. Preparing your outdoor living area for a hurricane is just the start. Be sure to have a disaster kit ready to go (see the Florida Division of Emergency Management for recommendations of kit contents) and an evacuation plan in place for your family so that each member knows what to do in case of an extreme emergency.

At West Coast Design Build Florida, we believe in creating beautiful (and durable) outdoor living spaces. If you are dreaming of a new backyard and lanai to enhance your lifestyle – call today for more information.