As I type, Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on us as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds over 140 miles per hour.
I’m sure you’re busy getting gas, stocking up on food and water and securing your house and cars.
But did you consider hurricane preparation for your pool or patio screen enclosure?
You need to.
In 2004, my in-laws lost their pool screen enclosure to a hurricane twice in one year -- and it cost them over $25,000.
Hurricane Charley destroyed their first patio screen enclosure in August. They rebuilt it. Then three weeks later Hurricane Frances destroyed that one too.
Pool and patio screen enclosures are vulnerable to hurricanes. Hurricane Matthew is no different. That’s because the patio screen enclosure acts like a giant sail.
It transfers the enormous energy and mass of heavy rainfall -- moving at over 100mph -- onto the aluminum frame of the cage.
In many cases -- especially older enclosures that weren’t built with the benefit of the latest construction practices -- the cage structure can’t withstand the massive forces. It collapses.
The falling cage could damage your home or pool. Then you’ll have to file a large homeowners claim. The insurance company will increase your rates and hit you with a big deductible.
I have been been in the screen enclosure industry here in South Florida for over 30 years. I have seen dozens of hurricanes pass through during that time.
Here is what you should do if you’re concerned the hurricane might damage or destroy your screen enclosure.
First, it’s much cheaper to replace the screen than rebuild the whole structure. Get a 20-foot telescopic aluminum pole ($20 from Home Depot) and tape a razor knife to it.
Then remove as much of the screen as you can from the structure, including from the roof. And wherever possible, remove any doors.
This simple tip will give you the best chance of protecting your pool or patio screen enclosure during a hurricane. And it would have saved my in-laws a lot of frustration and money back in 2004.
Oh… and one more thing.
You don’t want to remove the screens in your screen enclosure unless you absolutely have to.
Unless the wind speed is above 100 mph -- or your screen enclosure is of old construction or is in a bad state of repair (look for missing screws, bent metal, missing cage pieces etc) -- your pool or patio screen enclosure will probably be okay without you having to remove the screens.
Since there’s still a good chance Hurricane Matthew won’t hit us with a direct strike and 100 mph winds, you should wait until the last possible moment before you remove the screens with a razor.
The best place to monitor Hurricane Matthew -- including the latest path projections and wind speeds -- is on Mike’s Weather Page on Facebook
ALREADY HAVE DAMAGE POST HURRICANE MATTHEW?
Did you read this too late? Did you screen enclosure end up like the below images from Hurricane Matthew?
Then please fill out the form to get an estimate or call us now at 561-571-8085