An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to prepping your home for storms. From hurricane winds to golfball-sized hail, your house can really take a beating — but it doesn’t have to. There are things you can do to keep your residence safe and minimize damage.
Clean the Gutters
As the season change, falling leaves, twigs, dirt and other debris can pile up in your gutters. If you don’t clean this gunk out regularly, it can easily clog your downspouts, prompting overflow. Moreover, it can lead to your roof rotting, cause your gutters to collapse, and even ruin your home’s foundations as water pools around the exterior walls. Therefore, you must remove buildup a few times each season to protect your home.
Clean gutters won’t do much if your yard slopes down toward your home. This downhill grade will cause water to pool around the house, potentially compromising the foundation. Divert it by using drain pipes or relandscaping so your lawn slopes away from your home, carrying water away with it. You might also consider creating a rain garden to make the most of trouble areas on your lawn and soak up excess water.
Prep Your Roof
Your roof will likely take a majority of the beating during a storm. From hail to rain to extreme winds, harsh weather can wreak havoc on shingles, especially if they’re old and you haven’t had an inspection in a while. Prevent unnecessary damage by hiring an inspector to examine your roof and replace any loose or missing shingles. Additionally, it’s smart to have a contractor on standby to make any emergency repairs after the storm.
Seal All Windows
Wind only needs a small opening under a window or door to rip it from a wall. If a crack is large enough, strong winds could even cause your roof to cave in on top of you. Therefore, you must seal any cracks around these openings in your home. It may also be a good idea to install hurricane shutters as an added protective barrier against gale-force winds.
Secure Outdoor Items
Additionally, be sure to secure patio furniture, garden decor, and other supplies before storms blow in. You can do this by either tying down heavier items or storing them in your garage or shed until the rain and wind pass. This simple step will prevent damage to your outdoor items and keep the wind from tossing them around your yard and into windows or doors.
Do a Walkthrough
Of course, this isn’t a complete list of precautionary measures. Just as your home is different from your neighbor’s, your storm preparation checklist will vary. Take a walk through your yard and home, inspecting them as you go and jotting down any preparatory actions you might have to take. Then, be sure to take these precautionary measures before you hear the distant rumbling of thunder.
Doing so will give your home a better chance of surviving the storm, keeping you, your belongings, and your family safe.