Storms can cause damage that can be both financially and emotionally distressing. They can wreak havoc on your home, especially if you haven’t taken the necessary measures to prevent storm damage. According to a study by The University of Notre Dame, 62 percent of coastal homeowners don’t consider taking measures to protect their homes from future storms. This is despite the fact that these storms are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change.
It may be because they’re worried about the finances it would take to implement these measures or because many homeowners are simply unaware of them. Either way, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ve outlined some essential tips and smart strategies you can follow to safeguard your property and ensure your family’s safety.
1. Strengthen Your Roof
Roofs are possibly the most vulnerable part of your home during storms since they face the brunt of the harsh weather. A strong wind could tear off the shingles, while an aggressive hail storm could crack them. Let’s not forget about the flying debris, which could also puncture and dent the roof, or the water seepage that could get in through compromised spots.
Since it’s essentially your first line of defense, taking necessary precautions against roof storm damage is very important. One of the first things you should do is a roof inspection to identify any weak points and then proceed to make a plan of action. You could opt for durable materials such as impact-resistant shingles or metal roofing to increase resistance against strong winds. Another alternative could be installing hurricane straps or clips to anchor the roof and reduce the risk of wing uplift.
Another weak point of your roof is the skylights if you have them. You must check for cracks or damage and ensure they’re properly sealed to prevent leakage. You should also ensure the glass is reinforced to withstand heavy impact from any projectiles during the storm.
2. Regular Maintenance and Inspection of Your Property
Regular inspections of your home and its surrounding area are essential to prevent storm damage.
Overhanging branches from trees can be a danger during storms. One strong wind is all it takes to break off a few branches and damage your roof, sidings, or windows. This is why you must regularly trim overgrown trees near your home and remove any dead branches to prevent them from becoming dangerous projectiles.
Loose items in your yard could also pose a serious risk. If you’re aware of a storm heading your way, you could take whatever lightweight items you have in your yard and store them inside. As for heavier items, such as outdoor furniture or grills, secure them with ropes, chains, or stakes before a storm.
Before storm season, you must document the current state of your home to identify any pre-existing damage or conditions that could pose a risk or weak point. This is very valuable when and if you need to make insurance claims after the storm.
3. Protect Doors and Windows
Installing storm shutters is one of the most effective ways to ensure flying debris or strong winds don’t cause major damage to your windows. The best part is that you can choose from various styles of storm shutters available in the market to suit your preference. Once installed, all you’ll need to do is quickly close them before a storm, and they’ll be a solid barrier against any potential damage.
Aside from the shutters, you could consider upgrading your windows by installing impact-resistant ones. They’re designed to withstand strong impact and heavy winds because a special interlayer prevents the glass from shattering on impact.
Doors are another vulnerable point during storms since strong winds can force them open or tear them off their hinges. You could strengthen your doors by replacing standard hinges with heavy-duty options that can withstand the force of strong winds.
4. Waterproofing Measures
To prevent or minimize water damage, you must seal any gaps around your windows and doors. You can do this by applying weatherstripping and caulk to prevent water from infiltrating your home and causing any damage to the interior.
If you live In a flood-prone area, you must elevate electrical systems in and around your home to a level above potential floodwaters. This includes outlets, switches, and circuit breakers. This prevents electrical damage and reduces the risk of fires or electrocution.
Your home’s exterior needs as much protection as the interior, so you must direct water away from your home’s foundation by adding downspout extensions or splash blocks. This prevents water from collecting around the base of your house and weakening the foundations over time. But ensure you regularly clean and maintain your gutters and downspouts, or they’ll end up clogged and overflowing.
You can also protect your walls from moisture damage by applying exterior waterproofing coatings, such as sealants or waterproof paints.
5. Backup Power and Communication
Investing in a backup generator can provide you and your family power during electrical outages or blackouts caused by storms. This is extremely important for keeping essential appliances and systems like the home phone or your wifi running to maintain communication. You also need to make sure to charge the devices you have in your home; this includes cell phones, flashlights, and any other emergency devices.
You will also need to create an emergency kit and keep it stocked. Add essentials like non-perishable food, water, medications, a first aid kit, and important documents. And most importantly, develop a family emergency plan to ensure everyone knows where to go and what to do during severe weather.
In the face of unpredictable and aggressive storms, protecting your home and your loved ones becomes a primary concern. You can be well prepared to do both using the tips in this article. From regular maintenance to waterproofing to reinforcing doors and windows, each one of these steps strengthens your defense against a harsh storm.
And remember, a well-prepared home stands a stronger chance against the forces of nature.