How to Protect Your Home When the Weather Gets Freaky

As the weather continues to get freaky across the nation, it can be challenging to protect your home. Perhaps when you moved into your house you were not so concerned with hurricanes and floods. But with the extreme weather conditions of recent years, potential damage is often more likely. You could lose your roof, experience damage to your foundation and structure, or worse. Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize or even prevent the destruction of your home. 

1. Make Sure You’re Fully Covered

The first and perhaps most important step to take to protect your home is to make sure you’re covered financially. Most people have homeowners insurance by necessity. Mortgage companies usually insist on covering their investments. What many people don’t realize is that basic homeowner’s insurance doesn’t usually automatically cover damages due to floods, mold, earthquakes, or sewer backups — all issues that can be caused by hurricanes. 

To ensure your property is completely insured, first make a call to your homeowner’s insurance agent. Ask specific questions about potential weather conditions in your area, and find out what is not covered. Then, consider hurricane insurance, flood insurance, fire insurance, or earthquake insurance. Depending on your policy and location, you may need one or more of the above. The last thing you want is to lose money or property after a bad storm.

2. Clear Problem Areas in Your Yard

Next, it’s time to review the status of your property and do your best to stormproof it. Often, in cases of a hurricane or other serious storm, damage to your house is caused by surrounding debris. And while you can’t prevent the neighbor’s trees or other items from flying into your yard, you can check your own. That tree standing next to your house can cause considerable damage if it’s not structurally sound. 

Walk your property and review the status of anything that could tear into your walls, windows, or roof. Large items like barbecues, lawn furniture, and gardening tools can be picked up and flung into your home. Make sure they’re secured or stored properly to prevent them from becoming weapons in a storm. Also, consider having an arborist visit your home to inspect your trees and other large bushes or foliage. They can advise you on pruning or cutting down potentially destructive plants. 

3. Reinforce Windows and Doors

While you can prune and cut your plants, you can’t do that for your neighbors. Neither can you bolt down or put away their lawn furniture. In the event of a storm, your neighbor’s barbecue could fly into your house. Excessive rain driven by harsh winds could also batter your windows to the point of breaking. For this reason, you want to reinforce both your windows and doors. 

First, check all the seals and cracks around your doors and windows and close them up. You can weatherproof windows with a silicone sealant and place stripping around the doors. It’s also a good idea to install storm shutters if you live in a region prone to hurricanes. They can help protect glass from flying during peak storm times. Finally, consider installing steel doors at your entry points for extra protection. They hold up well to both fire and water damage, offering a solid return on your investment. 

4. Head to the Roof

Don’t forget about your roof! Again, even if you’ve walked your property with an arborist to inspect your trees, your neighbor’s trees are still a consideration. One could come crashing through your roof during a storm. If you’re clear on that front, strong winds could still lift a weakened roof from your structure. They could also send shingles flying, leaving the underlying material vulnerable to the elements. 

For these reasons, it is essential to have your roof inspected once a year by a professional. They can point out weak spots that need to be reinforced and let you know when it’s time for a new roof. You also want to ensure you clear your gutters and drains before storm season sets in. They can become overloaded and place pressure on your roof with excess debris and water. Keeping them clear can prevent unnecessary leaks and water damage. 

5. Flood Proof the Structure

Finally, if you live in a flood zone or an area prone to hurricanes, you’ll want to flood proof your structure. Floods can send tons of gallons of water into your home, which may settle in your basement or lower levels. Even if you don’t live in a flood zone, hurricanes may dump water into your neighborhood that does not evacuate well. The water will look for somewhere to go, and your house may be in its direct path. 

To protect against these potential scenarios, you can take a few preventative measures. First, look into installing flood vents in your basement or lower levels. Any water that does enter your home can exit as quickly as possible, which will help stop mold and mildew from setting in. Next, consider installing water-resistant drywall, at least in the lower levels of your home. Again, it can help prevent mildew caused by flooding.

In the end, you can never be too prepared for a severe weather event. Protecting your home can save you thousands of dollars in damage. And ensuring you have proper insurance can return those losses to you if you do experience them. Furthermore, securing your house can not only protect your property, but also your life. You want to feel safe in this place you call home. It only makes sense to take all the steps possible so you can.

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