CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC)– With Hurricane Ian expected to bring rain to Virginia this weekend, local businesses are warning people to prepare their homes.

Mark Binshtok, president and CEO of Mr. Fix It in Richmond, said properly prepping your home ahead of a storm should be a top priority.

“In Central Virginia we don’t have the major storms that often and because of that a lot of folks haven’t been through that process,” Binshtok said.

Making sure your gutters are clear of debris and securing loose items outside like trash bins, patio furniture and decorations are a great place to start, according to Binshtok.

“Those big super cans, we’ve had customers tell us that there’s have been missing for two weeks after a storm because it got blown literally a mile down the road,” Binshtok said.

He also noted that an overflowing gutter can cause damage to a home’s trim, roof, foundation and on rare occasions the interior drywall and insulation. Cleaning up leaves and small branches from the roof can prevent water from getting underneath the shingles.

Lastly, Binshtok said to make sure your home’s downspouts and pipes are big enough to handle heavy rain, and that the runoff flows far enough from the home so it will not cause cracks in the foundation.

If you need to check if your home is watertight and storm ready, don’t procrastinate. Binshtok’s home remodeling business and many others have been busy responding to calls, so if you wait too long it could be too late to have a professional check out your home.

“It’s going to be difficult, especially as we get within a day or two of the storm,” Binshtok said. “We’re trying to finish up jobs to make sure they’re watertight before the storm.”

According to emergency crews, just one inch of water in your home can cost thousands of dollars in clean-up. For that reason, it is also a good idea to review your flood insurance policies before a storm. Also make sure to keep your important documents in a safe, waterproof place before the rain hits. Binshtok says that some extra preparation will be worth the effort.

“There’re so many terrible stories over the years that we have certainly seen, which is why it is great to be a little bit proactive as much as we can before this happens… before any storm happens,” Binshtok said.