As of 2005, if you own property in Louisiana you can receive financial compensation for making improvements to your home that help prevent wind damage. With the proper documentation and inspections, this could be in the form of tax deductions, elimination of sales tax, reduction of insurance premiums or other compensation.
However, if you are not ready to re-open your walls and virtually remodel your home, there are several smaller steps you can take to prevent wind damage today.
Before you buy
To keep rent, lease, or mortgage payments low and attractive to buyers, builders often cut corners that result in costly repairs at your expense. Before signing any agreement, be sure that your residence complies with Louisiana building codes.
Failure to comply could have serious financial consequences for you. If you do not insist on the inspections, you may be left with a bill for significant repairs. These may be a result of any of the following errors:
- Design defects
- Unsafe or unstable grounds
- Defects in construction
- Defective installation
- Inefficient appliance or equipment of poor quality
To be sure that your housing contract is legally sound, it may be wise to seek legal counsel. A housing association is vulnerable if they are in violation of a contract or if they unknowingly paid for substandard work. An attorney would be able to protect your interests or negotiate a better contract.
Luckily, there are relatively easy things you can do regularly to protect your home from wind damage. As a bonus, these may also prevent other costly repairs such as water or fire damage.
- Landscaping: Prune only decaying or dead branches which can break off and become projectiles in a windstorm. Over-pruning leads to weak trees that can easily be uprooted.
- Clear clutter: Secure loose patio furniture, garden tools, trash bins, grills, and vehicles.
- Review the roof: Safely inspect the roof for damage or weak spots every spring before the typical storm season. Watch out for loose shingles, discoloration or sagging.
Check with your insurance company for additional incentive or rebate programs related to storm damage prevention. Your efforts may pay off in more ways than one.