How to Protect Your Sarasota Home from Water Damage

Whether you are a Florida native or a newcomer, you’ll no doubt know that along with all of that beautiful sunshine comes some rain. This is especially true if you live in a seaside city like Sarasota, since storms occur more frequently and with greater intensity in beach towns. In order to ensure that your home is protected, it’s a good idea to understand both how weather can affect the condition of your home and how to protect your Sarasota home from water damage when storms occur.

 

Sarasota Weather

Sarasota is a stunning Gulf Coast city and one of the most desirable areas of the state. Weather here is generally mild year-round and rarely gets below 50 degrees or so, even during the coldest months of the year.

 

Like the rest of Florida -- and Florida beach towns in particular -- you’ll find that frequent rain is a feature of the weather patterns here. On average, Sarasota gets rain more than 100 days out of the year, with the highest concentration of rainfall from June through September where it often rains every day or two.

 

The good news is that much of the rainfall is made up of quick afternoon showers that pass swiftly and are soon forgotten. The bad news is that with so much water from lakes and the oceanfront, more intense storms can occur and bring with them severe water damage from both flooding and blowing rain.

 

Sarasota Flooding

In order to protect your home from flooding, you’ll want to be mindful of the following precautions:

  • If your home is on a flood plain, talk to your insurance carrier regarding flood insurance to ensure that your property and furnishings are fully covered against flood damage. Flood insurance is not part of a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Work with a landscaper to determine the best way to ensure that storm water flows away from your property. This is especially important if you have low-lying areas or a slope in your lawn that could create standing water or intrusion. Discuss appropriate grading and drainage interventions to ensure that your home stays dry.
  • If you have a home on the coast or if there are lakes or ponds in your neighborhood, find out the history of your particular area and whether there is sufficient drainage of storm runoff to ensure that your home is not flooded. In the case of manmade lakes, there should be drainage in place to prevent overflows.
  • Implement appropriate measures to protect your home in the event of a severe storm. Hurricane shutters and windows, generators, and water intrusion detectors can all help to keep blowing rain or rising floodwaters from damaging your home.

 

If you’re looking for a home in Sarasota, you’ll want to check the flood zone maps and consult with your real estate broker and insurance agent regarding your risk. This is especially important given the effects of climate change and the associated increased risk of severe weather.

 

Sarasota Hurricane Risk

Sarasota has an unusual reputation as a relatively safe option when it comes to hurricane risk. Locals credit many different reasons for this, from Native American folklore to blessings to crystals. In reality, however, Sarasota’s lower risk is far more scientific.

 

The normal weather patterns that drive hurricanes toward Florida are disrupted in one of two ways before they make landfall in Sarasota -- either by passing over Cuba’s mountains or by making landfall along the east coast of Florida, then losing steam as they cross the state before reaching Sarasota. While Sarasota has had its share of severe weather in the past, these two factors have kept it relatively safe for many decades.

 

Signs of Water Damage

Should you experience severe weather, how do you know whether water has intruded into your home, creating damage? Here are some signs:

  • Brown spots or other discoloration around windows and door frames or along baseboards or the ceiling.
  • A musty smell, especially when the house has been closed up for several hours.
  • A cold, damp feeling that is difficult to remove even when the heat is on.
  • Unusual sounds like dripping or excessively creaky floorboards.

 

Just because you can’t see water damage doesn’t mean that it is not there. Professional restoration services have infrared sensors that can detect elevated levels of moisture before they appear. If you are concerned about recent blowing rain or severe weather, it might be worth having them check for hidden damage.

 

Whether you are already a homeowner or are interested in new homes for sale in Sarasota, it’s important to understand your weather risk and what to do in the event of a serious storm or flooding incident. By taking steps to protect your Sarasota home from water damage -- and knowing what to do when storm clouds gather -- you’ll preserve the health, beauty, and value of your home for years to come.

 

 

Contributed to Your Home blog by Christy Murdock Edgar

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