No matter what state you live in, heavy rain, storms, and hurricanes can cause havoc and damage to the exterior and interior of your property. No matter how long you’ve lived in your home, keeping it in excellent condition should be your top priority as a homeowner.
Basic upkeep can go a long way to protect your property from storm damage, so here are five precautionary measures you can take.
- Replace Damaged or Missing Shingles
- Trim Your Trees Regularly
- Have Standby Power
- Install Storm Shutters
- Examine Your Home for Weakness
- Tips on How to Protect Your Home from Unpredictable Weather Conditions
- Q: What does severe weather mean?
- Q: Did you check the insurance policy?
- Q: Do you have to seal the doors and windows?
- Q: Did you clean the gutters?
- Q: Do you own a sump pump?
- Q: Why do you have to check the fence posts?
- Q: Should you worry about pipes in the winter?
- Q: Do you know where the water shut-off valve is?
- Q: Have you bought a storm readiness kit?
- Q: Why do you have to check the attic as well?
- Q: Do you have steel doors?
- Q: How do you prepare the roof for heavy snows?
- Q: How clean is your yard?
Replace Damaged or Missing Shingles
If you have noticed that a shingle on your roof is damaged, it has more chance to break free. Should you find missing shingles, this means that you have a gap that allows wind to get under and cause additional damage. If you need a new roof, look for a company that can construct durable roofing structures, including attic insulation and good quality shingles.
Trim Your Trees Regularly
It’s just as important to take care of what’s on the outside of your property as it is the inside, so if you have noticed any problem tree limbs in your backyard, they can cause extensive damage to your home when severe weather strikes. To add an extra layer of protection to your windows and roof, regularly trimming your trees is recommended. Should a tree fall onto your home or a neighboring property, this can be financially crippling to fix if you are not insured.
Have Standby Power
During severe weather such as a storm, electrical lines are vulnerable. Power lines can be easily snapped by fallen branches, and transformers can be blown up by a lightning strike, resulting in a major power outage. The last thing you want is to be without power in the middle of a storm, so purchasing a home backup generator will ensure that you have power should a long-term electricity outage occur. Home generators deliver power to appliances such as your heating and cooling system, television, and computer, allowing you to maintain safety levels and comfort throughout an emergency.
Install Storm Shutters
Even if you’ve taken every preventative route imaginable to keep your home safe from severe weather, heavy rain and strong winds from a storm can still wreak havoc on your windows. If you have a broken window in your property, this allows wind to blow inside and cause damage to your home’s interior and roof. The best method to stop your windows from breaking is by installing storm shutters.
Examine Your Home for Weakness
If severe weather is on the horizon, it’s crucial that you take time to examine your home for any signs of weakness. Thoroughly checking your roof, doors, windows, and garage door will put your mind at ease in knowing you’ve taken every precautionary route possible. There are lots of things you can do to help ensure your property is stronger before another hurricane or storm strikes.
Storms and hurricanes are common in many states across the US, so if you live in an area that’s prone to unpredictable weather conditions, the steps listed above can help you as a homeowner in ensuring your property is well protected.
Tips on How to Protect Your Home from Unpredictable Weather Conditions
Q: What does severe weather mean?
A: Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and storms are severe weather conditions that pose a significant threat to you and your home. It would help if you always were prepared to handle unpredictable weather conditions and not postpone preparations as you may not have enough time.
Q: Did you check the insurance policy?
A: Before you proceed with anything, go ahead and carefully check the insurance policies to ensure that any losses caused by brutal storms or natural disasters will be covered. Earthquakes, hurricanes, or flooding may damage your house, but the traditional homeowner’s policy doesn’t typically include it.
Start by videotaping your belongings or making a list for the insurance company, storing it safely. It would help if you didn’t save it in your house.
Q: Do you have to seal the doors and windows?
A: You want to block water and wind entering your house through cracks, windows, garage doors, or entry doors. The wind coming into your home will push upward, lifting the roof and making it possible for heavy rain to go inside your house.
If you live in an area with high risk for hurricanes, it’s mandatory to seal the doors and windows as tightly as possible. Look for the storm shutters for covering the windows.
Q: Did you clean the gutters?
A: You always have to make sure that gutters are clean, with downspouts flowing away from your house’s foundation.
Flooding and water damage are some of the fastest ways to reduce the value of a household. Keeping the gutters clear is fundamental for helping the water flow away from the house.
Ensure that water is flowing away from your house, right into a ditch, drain, or another appropriate retention zone.
Q: Do you own a sump pump?
A: Anyone with a basement in the house should buy and install a sump pump. You don’t want to wait for the spring to start before running the sump pump, so check it regularly. Some owners like to keep it extra safe and purchase a backup sump pump, reducing basement flooding risk.
Q: Why do you have to check the fence posts?
A: You never know how strong wind can be. Anything that isn’t nailed down poses a risk for being blown away, and fence posts don’t make an exception. Many people skip taking care of fence posts when getting ready for a big storm.
Q: Should you worry about pipes in the winter?
A: Water will most likely expand when freezing. If the water inside the pipe freezes, the pipes will crack and burst, causing fantastic damage. You should always drain the water from the sprinklers and outdoor faucets. Keep in mind to disconnect the outdoor hoses, using insulators for covering the outdoor faucets.
Remember to address the pipes in the unheated areas, such as the basement, attic, or garages, by insulating them.
Q: Do you know where the water shut-off valve is?
A: You never know how the weather condition damages your household, so you should know the first step to take in case of an emergency. For any problems related to water, it’s essential to know where the water shut-off valve is placed. Typically, the valve is located in the basement. It can also be buried toward the street in the front area of your lawn. A plastic, metal, or concrete access cover will protect it. It makes perfect sense that you should locate it before the freeze comes.
Q: Have you bought a storm readiness kit?
A: There are several options to choose from, with three main types of storm kits as the main choices. A basic package will help you and your family for 48 hours without essential services or electricity, supporting you with emergencies caused by storms.
The upgraded kit will be helpful for a severe storm when you have resources. It’s an upgrade of the basic storm kit, but it will help go through 3-4 days with no services or electricity.
The ultimate kit is for people in remote areas who also take care of children, elderly or people with physical challenges. The package will get you through one week without any essential services or electricity, and even through catastrophic scenarios.
Q: Why do you have to check the attic as well?
A: For heavy snow, it’s not only the clogged gutters that may complicate your situation, but also a poorly-prepared attic. For example, a warm attic will cause ice dam damage as the snow melts in the middle of the roof, draining toward the gutters, where it could refreeze. You should always have the attic cold enough, with efficient ventilation.
It would help if you sealed all the cracks or holes in the ceiling and around fixtures so that nothing seeps into your attic. It’s not wrong to insulate the attic floor, trapping heat inside the house, and not outside of the attic.
Q: Do you have steel doors?
A: If you live in a region with heavy storms, you may want to consider steel entry doors. High winds will easily tear double doors, sliding patio and French doors with no structural support between the two sides.
You should also buy and mount specialized hardware to secure the doors. Bolts fasten the door right into the framing, at the bottom, and top should be used.
Q: How do you prepare the roof for heavy snows?
A: You don’t want the snow to melt too fast, as you may cause ice dams; at the same time, you don’t want the snow to overload the roof either. If you’re noticing that the roof is sagging, you hear popping or cracking noises, and you should call a professional roofing contractor for removing the snow.
Use a long-handled snow rake for removing the snow near the roof’s edge, and don’t skip the snow near the gutters either. You will prevent ice dams by removing it.
Q: How clean is your yard?
A: If severe weather is coming, you should also do some yard work. Make sure to remove dying limbs from trees, secure the trashcans, lawn furniture, flower pots, and any other yard decorative pieces.
Disconnecting and removing the exterior television antennas from the roof should also be done. Stay safe and bring potted plants, lawn furniture, grills, and lawn accessories inside the house. Anything that isn’t secured to the ground could fly in a massive storm with high-speed winds.