If you live in an area where storms happen often, you may feel as though there isn’t much that you can do to protect your home from nature’s wild ways. While you can’t stop a hail or lightning storm from coming, you can take some measures to ensure that you don’t end up with severe damage from it. So whether you’re in one of the 5.34 million homes bought in 2019 or the same home that you’ve lived in for 20 years, here are a few ways to prevent storm damage from happening to your home.
Trim and Cut Trees
One of the main causes of storm damage is fallen trees or tree limbs. Because of this, it’s important to stay on top of the upkeep of your trees if you’re in an area that typically gets storms. If there are any large trees within falling distance of your home, consider chopping them down to avoid the potential of them falling on your home during an intense wind storm, tornado, or hurricane. For any other trees, make sure that you routinely trim the branches to ensure there are none that can fall off of the larger tree and fly onto your home.
Keep Up With Roof Maintenace
If your roof is damaged at all during a storm, it can cause leaking and larger damage over time, especially if it goes unnoticed. Things like a shingle or two coming off of your roof during a big storm may not seem like a big deal, but in reality, it can cause many problems in the future. That’s why it’s important to get your roof inspected regularly — otherwise, you won’t know that there is damage because you’ll never see it.
Check Your Gutters
Your gutters have an important job: redirecting water away from your home and making sure that you don’t end up with flooding in your basement. You should make sure that all of your gutter’s spouts are pointing away from your home’s foundation to make sure that any runoff they’re carrying isn’t getting pushed into your basement. If you want to make sure that you’re making the most of any rain that comes, you can put a rain collection barrel at the bottom of one or more of the spouts to catch rainwater that you can reuse to water your garden later.
You should also make sure to regularly clean your gutters to make sure that they’re working in their most optimal state. If there’s debris clogging your gutters, it can be difficult for rain or melted snow to properly drain.
Check on the Garage
Although you want to avoid damage to your home as much as possible, it’s important to also make sure you’re taking care of other important things, like your vehicles. The National Weather Service has reported that hailstones need to be at least as large as a golf ball to damage a vehicle, but other factors can also impact damage to your car. If your home has a garage, make sure to store cars there before an incoming storm, and make sure that your garage is properly outfitted with strong windows and a sturdy door to ensure that your home and car stay safe.
Make Sure Windows and Doors are Sealed
If you have an improperly sealed window or door, you could potentially get damage to your home due to moisture build-up as well as because of the damage that outdoor temperature fluctuations can cause. If there’s a spot where the air can get through around a window or door, it’s a spot where rain or snow could potentially get through, and that should be fixed as soon as possible.
Luckily, resealing windows and doors doesn’t need to be a huge job. A lot of the time, it’s something that you can even DIY, so look into tutorials and needed materials if you don’t want to hire a professional to do the work.
Secure Your Fencing
If something can fly up during a storm, it’s something that can potentially cause damage to your home. This includes your fence and any materials that are connected to it. If you have loose boards or chain link that can potentially come off of the fence during a storm, you could be looking at a cause of some serious damage depending on the weather conditions. Make sure that if you notice a problem with your fencing, you get it fixed as soon as possible before it can become an issue during the next storm.
Ask Your Community
If you aren’t sure whether these tips apply to your area, try asking other people in your neighborhood. If you’re in an HOA or other community association, you may also be able to use that network to ask for advice. Considering that U.S. homeowners paid around $88 billion to stay in community associations in 2016 alone, you will likely be able to get some help from one if you are a member.
You can ask about storms that have specifically impacted your area as well as what kind of damage the storms have caused. If you know that wind often takes roofing tiles off in your area and causes leaks, then you can be more diligent about roof inspections and maintenance. If you know flooding is a big issue in your area, you can see what your neighbors do about it. One of the best things about having a community is being able to ask that community for help.
Although storms can be unpredictable and cause more damage than your would’ve thought they could, it’s possible to properly prepare for a storm to minimize the damage to your home. Whether that means checking on your roof regularly or finally speaking those spaces around your window, you should make sure you’re on top of your home’s exterior maintenance so that the next strong storm to hit your area doesn’t damage your home.
How do you prepare for big storms? Have you used any of the ideas on this list? Let us know in the comments below!