Mother Nature is beautiful, but she’s also incredibly powerful. Even though we’re now capable of building safe and secure homes, it’s still important to take some preventative measures before a storm hits.
This way you can protect your family as well as minimize any damage to your home-sweet-home. Keep reading for our top 13 tips to protect your home from storms.
First, take a look around and make a general assessment of your home. Which areas can be most damaged by storm elements, like wind, rain, hail and flooding? Going through this checklist can help you protect areas of your home that are most vulnerable.
1. Safely Store Outdoor Furniture and Equipment
If you have patio furniture, yard décor, swing sets, fire pits and other common items, be sure to remove them from your yard and move them inside. Your garage or basement can be good places. If you don’t have enough room within your home, consider asking a neighbor to help you. Or, you can rent storage space during seasons when storms are most prevalent.
2. Remove Trees, Branches and Limbs
Strong winds can uproot trees and snap of old limbs and branches. During calmer seasons, take time to uproot and remove any trees that are too close to your home. These are a potential and very serious threat to your home’s structure. The same goes for branches and limbs that can break windows, roofs or the general outer area of the home.
3. Clean Your Gutters and Pipes
When there is heavy rainfall, the water has to go somewhere, and if your gutters or piping are clogged and backed up, the water will find another route. This can lead to severe water damage and a big mess. Take time – when it’s not raining! – to remove debris, foliage and anything else that’s filling up your gutters. This way, any torrential downpours will have a clean, unhindered path away from your home.
4. Protect Windows with Storm Shutters
Depending on the age and condition of your windows, you might decide to replace them altogether. Otherwise, you can always invest in some sound and solid shutters. There are different options to choose from. Some can be closed manually, and others can be closed automatically from within the house for an even more safe and secure protection.
5. Have Your Roof Inspected
If your home is old, or has seen its fair share of storms, it’s always a good idea to have a trusted professional come and inspect your roof. He or she can determine if there are any weak spots that need to be retiled, or secured with brackets, etc. Having a roof inspection can prevent massive damage to the rest of your home.
6. Invest in Surge Protectors and Generators
Intense storms can cut power off from your home for days at a time. To keep you and your family well-provided for, even if the power goes out, invest in reliable surge protectors and power generators. This will ensure that you will have electricity and basic amenities until the authorities repair power outages throughout your area.
7. Remove Valuable Items from Your Basement and /or Attic
Even though we keep many precious and valuable items in our home, the truth is, we usually don’t store them very well. This can be a bad thing when your home comes face to face with a powerful storm. Water damage and flooding can damage and even destroy precious heirlooms and keepsakes.
You can protect these items by storing them in plastic, waterproof pins. If possible, store them above the ground level.
8. Reduce Water Damage with Flood-Proofing
Flooding in the basement or lower levels of your home can greatly decrease the value of your home. To avoid this, consider waterproofing your basement with either a dry method, or a wet method. For the dry method, create a watertight surface inside your home by using concrete to block any water from entering. Otherwise, you can opt wet flood-proofing, which allows flood waters to pass through the home without causing too much damage.
9. Reinforce Doors and Windows
If your home is old, there’s a chance that your doors and windows need a little TLC. Check for any missing hardware, such as screws, bolts and hinges. And if the door is flimsy, consider replacing it altogether. Similarly, if your windows haven’t been replaced in a while, consider switching them out for double-paned windows that can sustain high-impact wind and rain.
For strong, durable windows, consider taping them, or applying a durable plastic covering to keep objects from breaking through the glass.
10. Enlarge Garage to Make More Room
If you have the resources and need the space, you can enlarge your garage to store all your valuable outdoor items. This includes things like cars, lawnmowers, bikes, boats, etc. It’s an expensive protective measure, but if you live in an area that sees frequent, annual storms, it might be a good investment to consider.
11. Use Plants to Protect Your Home
On the one hand, large plants like trees, can wreak havoc on your home when the storm hits. However, some plants can be used strategically to protect your home from wind and rain. Schedule an appointment with a trusted landscape architect who could advise you on optimal plant positioning to act as a buffer for your home.
12. Turn off Utilities
Whether you decide to wait it out and brave the storm at home, or whether you decide to leave, always remember to turn off the utilities. These include gas, electricity and water. This can prevent fires, explosions and water damage, just to name a few problems.
13. Don’t be Afraid to Leave Your Home
It can be hard to leave your home, knowing that a terrible storm is heading your way. If you leave, who will be there to take care of it? Unfortunately, some storms are ruthless and even if we stay home, there’s little we can do to stop damage from occurring.
If the local authorities encourage you to leave the area, do everything you can to protect your home, and then take care of yourself and your loved ones by leaving. It’s a big decision to make, but ultimately, it’s the best decision to make.
Storms can be powerful and frightening, and they can threaten our homes, too. Try to plan ahead, so that before the stormy seasons arrive, your home is already protected no matter what may come.