If you live in a place that experiences frequent storms, you understand how destructive they can be for both homes and businesses. In 2019 alone, the U.S. has already experienced one billion dollars in losses due to storms and climate disasters, and the storms seem to be increasing in frequency and strength each year. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your property from even the harshest weather. Keep reading for 9 crucial practices to stormproof your home.
1. Seal Windows and Doors
Sealant on windows and doors can wear due to age and the sun. Before storm season, be sure to check the seals around all windows and doors, even the ones in your attic, basement and garage. A broken or old seal will lessen the strength of the window and can also cause rain and insects to get into your home. If your seals are looking worn, replace them. And of course, fill any cracks or hole you find in your seals, too. Checking your seals is a smart thing to do every season. This is because properly sealed windows and doors are more efficient and will save you money on your energy bill.
2. Seal and Protect Your Roof
One of the most vital steps to stormproof your home is securing and sealing your roof. Roof damage can lead to a whole array of additional problems such as water damage, mold and pest infestations. First, inspect your roof to make sure all the tiles or shingles are secure. Look for any cracks or missing pieces. Second, replace any missing shingles or tiles and seal any cracks you find. If you want to be extra safe, you can spend a few hundred dollars to have your entire roof deck sealed so that it is waterproof. The roof deck lies under your roof and above your living space. Waterproofing the roof deck will add security and help ensure that water doesn’t damage inside of your home; even if your roof itself is damaged externally.
3. Strap Your Roof
If you live in a place with high winds, tornadoes and/or hurricanes, then you might want to consider roof strapping. Roof strapping is a process that attaches the home’s roof to the walls with metal straps. This keeps your roof connected to your home on all sides, rather than having it simply sit on top of your house. If you have an attic, you can easily and cheaply add metal roof straps.
4. Seal Any Holes
Sometimes homes have cables or furnaces that attach to the exterior of the home. If this is the case, you should check to make sure the areas of connection are securely sealed. You can easily seal the holes with caulk. This will keep water from getting inside your home and foundation.
5. Check and Secure Posts
If your home has posts connected to a porch, deck, or carport, then you will want to give them some attention when storm-proofing your home. These extra sections of your home can rip a hole in your house if a strong enough storm decides to sweep through. To prevent this, check all the posts to ensure they are firmly attached to the ground. If they seem loose, hire a contractor to secure them. You may also want to pour concrete fitters around any posts that go into the ground.
6. Clear the Yard
If a storm is coming, one of the best things to do to protect your house is to clear everything from outside. Things like patio furniture, potted plants, and even trampolines can be swept up by strong winds and damage your siding or windows. Plus, you could lose these items and money with them if left outside in a storm.
7. Check Your Garage Door
One thing a lot of homeowners forget to do when storm-proofing is to check the security of their garage doors. This is important because garage doors are lightweight and one of the most common victims of a harsh storm. They can blow in and then rip a hole in your ceiling or front of your garage. To prepare, you should check to see how secure your door is. Does anything need tightening? Is it completely sealed at the bottom? Secondly, we recommend installing a vertical garage door brace. The brace anchors into the wall above the garage door, into the garage floor and also to each hinge on the door. This provides extra stability and reinforcement of the garage door tracks. Another option is to install horizontal beams that run across the doors from one side of your garage to the other. They are secured to sides of the garage door and the middle. These beams add a push back to winds, preventing your door from blowing and bending in.
8. Check Your Home Insurance
Before storm season hits, take time to review your home insurance policy to make sure you’re covered. You’ll want to be sure the policy covers the full cost of rebuilding your home if it is lost in a storm. If you estimate that rebuilding will cost more than the value of your home, then you should increase the amount that your insurance will cover. This will increase your rate and/or deductible, but it will be worth it if you lose your home.
9. Add Flood Insurance
When reviewing your home insurance policies, we recommend adding flood insurance if you don’t have it already. Many policies only cover damage from the storm, such as a hurricane, but not the flooding that occurs afterward.
Be Prepared and Stormproof Your Home
The impact of a natural disaster can be devastating. Luckily, taking these nine precautions can help save your home and your life. Whether it’s a tornado, hurricane or fire, you should also be prepared with knowing who to turn to for recovery and repairs. At Blackmon Mooring and BMS CAT, we offer quality disaster recovery, damage control, reconstruction and remediation you can trust.
Contact us today to learn more and see how we can help you.