Wild Weather: Simple Steps for Storm Proofing Your Home

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Many homeowners worry about bad weather causing damage to their properties. Storms can be violent, especially in some parts of the country, and strong winds, heavy rain, and even wildfires can be devastating if your home is not properly protected. So knowing how to protect your home properly can save you a lot of worry and money. Also, if your home does become damaged, you will need to know when the right moment is to call in a professional.

1. Protect Your Home from Wind Damage

The high winds in hurricanes or even powerful storms can cause significant damage to properties, and this can be dangerous as well as expensive to fix. Structural damage can often occur in storms, and the worst affected area is usually the roof. If the roof is damaged by the wind, water can also get in and this can cause further significant damage, and doors and windows can also be damaged.

One thing to do in preparation is to install strong shutters on doors and windows, which is a good budget option. You can also retrofit your garage door, and you may want to use truss bracing on your roof if you have a gabled roof, which are more prone to damage. Doors and windows can also be protected by replacing them with impact-resistant options.

Also, don’t forget about your yard. Make sure you regularly hurricane proof it by maintaining your trees to ensure that weak branches are removed, which can cause damage to your property if they break off. Also remove any items that are not secured, such as furniture and equipment. And instead of using gravel, consider replacing this with shredded bark, which will not cause damage if it blows around.

For more advice on protecting your property from hurricanes, visit the National Hurricane Center.

2. Reduce the Risk of Flooding

Flooding can affect homes all over the country, and it can be very costly to repair the damage. Even just a few inches can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your property, so it’s important to take precautions.

Consider getting a flooding retrofit, and other options include dry flood-proofing your home, which will make areas below the flood level watertight to help it to withstand floodwaters for a few days.

3. Prepare for Wildfires

Droughts are becoming more common, and extreme conditions can increase the risk of wildfires, especially in western states. Careful landscaping around your property is one way to help prepare for the worst. This could include installing a concrete patio instead of a wooden deck, and you may also want to choose your plants carefully to avoid ones that are prone to fires.

Wire mesh can also help by reducing the risk of embers reaching your home. Use it to cover the attic and any openings below patios.

You’ll find some more useful tips for preparing for wildfires at Ready.gov.

Check Your Roof Regularly

It is a good idea to check over your roof on a regular basis, at least once a year or so, to assess its condition. You may want to hire a specialist for this, or you may be able to do it yourself.

Look for signs of damage, and go over the joints and flashing carefully. Also check that the drains are functioning because these can be vulnerable in extreme winds, and check the exterior walls for cracks and leaks. Make it a habit to clear all the gutters regularly and remove loose debris from the surface as well.

If you do find any leaks in your roof or elsewhere, make sure you get these fixed as soon as possible. Even a small drip can become a lot more serious in a storm and create a lot of damage.

Damaged Roof? When to Call the Pros

If you know a bit about DIY, and you have the tools and materials you need, you may well be able to fix your roof yourself. However, this is not always possible. Sometimes the damage is too great, or sometimes you simply may not have the skills to fix it yourself.

In this situation, always contact an experienced roof installation and roofing repairs service in your area. They will be available for small and large jobs, and they know exactly what you are doing. Not only will it be safer for you, but you will also have greater reassurance that the job will be completed to a higher level, which can provide you with more protection the next time there is a storm.

Protect Your Property as Soon as You Can

There is no point in waiting until the storm is forecast to start worrying about your home. By then it will be too late to make any serious attempts to protect your property, and you will be at the mercy of the elements. Instead, plan well in advance to make sure your home is protected from storms, fires, and flooding long before a problem arises. And if you want any more advice about protecting your home, always speak to a specialist to find out what they recommend to give your property a better chance of avoiding damage.

Mary Marson is a home improvement consultant. She loves sharing her field experiences on the web. Her articles appear mainly on home renovation and DIY websites.