While summer usually brings warm, sunny weather, it can also bring a range of extreme weather conditions from time to time, including severe thunderstorms. As a homeowner, it is in your best interest to be ready for such situations. By taking certain precautions, you can help reduce the damage from the storm. To help you out, we compiled a list of all you need to do to prepare your home for a storm.
Trim any branches close to your house that don't appear to be robust enough to withstand a storm. In a storm, tree branches could tear pieces of your roof off if they scrape against it. In extreme cases, dead tree limbs can even puncture a window. That way, they'll not only break the glass but possibly cause harm to anyone who's inside the house when it happens. While home insurance usually covers windows broken by natural causes, it's better to be safe and trim the trees around your home to limit the damage.
If the tree's weak sections are too large or complicated to manage on your own, you may need to hire a tree specialist. If you don't have any experience, taking care of these things by yourself can be tricky and could lead to injury.
Secure FencesBecause fences usually absorb the brunt of a storm, it's good to repair or fortify yours at least once a year as part of spring security checks and upgrades. Alternatively, if you're considering building a new fence, you should look into the best sort of fence panel for high winds. If they are not well anchored, they can be pulled from their ground base.
Furthermore, to prepare your home for the storm, don't forget to remove weeds and trash from the fence panels. Make sure there's enough drainage surrounding your fence to prevent waterlogging at the base, as wood posts can decay if not properly maintained. Minor damage can be repaired with spare wood and nails, and a fence preservative can be put to help protect the wood throughout the warmer months.
Caption: Prepare your home for a storm by ensuring your fence is sturdy and secure.
Alt: Black metal gate surrounded by trees and rain.
Clean Your Gutters & DrainsAlthough clogged gutters appear harmless, they can cause rainfall to overflow under the eaves and into the roof hollow. You should always make sure your gutters, drains, and downpipes are clean. While cleaning dead leaves and twigs isn't fun, it should still be a priority on your to-do list. Don't be afraid to include professional cleaning in your storm-prevention plan.
Secure Outside FurnitureStrong winds can damage the patio and other outside furniture. That's why it's a good idea to secure outdoor furniture or bring it inside before the storm. Anything in your yard that could become flying debris should also be moved.
If you don't have enough room inside your home and the weather forecast predicts storms for the next period, you should look into renting a storage unit. You can move some pieces there until the storm passes. After that, you can either stop renting a storage unit or use it to store other belongings that can't fit inside your home.
Prep Your BasementOne of the best things you can do to prepare your home for a storm is to secure your basement. Usually, during storms, basements are the first to get flooded. Even if you have flood insurance, you should still look into ways you can avoid a flood. First, check for all weak points where the water could get it. Try to secure and block them so that water can't come through. Finally, just to be safe, consider emptying the basement if you have any valuables or furniture there that you don't want to be ruined.
Caption: Before the storm, make sure your roof isn't leaking or in bad condition.
Alt: Selective focus photo of brown roof shingles, showing the importance of fixing your roof to prepare your home for a storm.
Check Your RoofChecking your roof before storm season can help you avoid significant damage during or after a storm. Start by checking for signs of leakage where the walls and roof meet. You should look for cracks, missing mortar, or other openings. Then, check for cracks, gaps, and missing tiles on the roof. Make these checks part of your regular maintenance throughout the year. Professional work can be expensive or time-consuming, so recognizing problems before they become a problem could save money in the long run. A storm could do more damage to your property if repairs aren't made ahead of time.
Prepare An Emergency KitA true emergency might leave you without vital utilities for hours or days, including electricity, water, gas, or sewage. So, to prepare for a storm, make sure you fill your family's emergency kit with enough food, water, and supplies to last at least three days. Some even suggest getting a backup generator for your home if you lose electricity. Although this step isn't as vital as others, it's still a good idea to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Then, after the emergency passes, make sure you replenish all the supplies.
Caption: Make an emergency kit for the worst-case scenario.
Alt: An orange emergency bag
Lock Your Car Away It would be wise to move your car away from areas of probable damage before a storm. Once the winds get stronger, they could easily pick up a tile from your roof and smash your car window. If you have a garage, it's a good idea to store your vehicle there for the duration of the storm.
Final ThoughtsEven if you have home insurance to cover the costs of potential damage, it's always a good idea to prepare your home for a storm when summer rolls around. Since a storm can cause damage to your home and injury to you or a member of your family, it's always better to prevent any damage than to have to fix it after. Once the storm has passed, make sure you take some time to assess the damage done to your home. Make a note of it and consider whether you need to file a claim with your homeowner's insurance.