Thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms — these weather events make most people nervous. You might worry your home will be damaged, either by wind and hail or by flying debris. Sadly, you can’t change or control the weather. But what you can do is make sure you’re as prepared as possible for any storm that comes your way.
The following are 11 steps you can take to storm-proof your home and keep yourself safe. Some are great DIY projects, and others require a little help from professionals.
1. Protect Your Doors and Windows
A broken door or window can lead to extensive water damage, potentially even injury. To keep your home safe, invest in impact-resistant doors and windows. These are far less likely to break on impact, even during a tropical storm.
Also consider having storm shutters installed on your home. When you know high winds are coming, you can close the shutters. They protect your windows from flying debris and hail.
2. Choose Weather-Resistant Roofing
If you’re having a new roof installed, ask your roofing company to recommend a wind-resistant design. Certain roofing materials are less likely to get caught in high winds.
If you don’t need a new roof just yet, have a roofing contractor come inspect your roof annually. They can fix any minor problems, like lifted shingles, before a storm makes those problems worse.
3. Use Fire-Retardant and Waterproof Materials
When remodeling or making updates to your home, make sure the materials used are both fire-retardant and waterproof. This is especially important when it comes to your home’s foundation and shell. If a nearby home catches fire due to a lightning strike, fire-retardant siding reduces the risk of the fire spreading to your home.
4. Keep Your Gutters Clean
If your gutters are clogged, your home is more likely to suffer water damage during a big storm. Clean your gutters twice a year, at minimum. If your gutters clog often, have gutter guards installed. Replace old gutters with seamless gutters, which are less likely to clog because debris won’t catch at seams.
5. Reinforce Your Garage Door
You don’t want your garage door to give way or be destroyed in a storm. Hire a garage door company to reinforce or replace it with metal and make sure it’s properly anchored.
6. Tidy Up Your Yard
Loose or dead tree branches become a hazard as soon as a storm rolls in. Have your trees trimmed annually to remove such branches. Also, tidy up any landscaping debris, so it does not blow into your windows during a wind storm.
Put your patio furniture away when it’s not in use. You don’t want a patio chair blowing into your picture window!
7. Have a Generator On Hand
Either purchase a portable generator or have a whole-home generator installed. This way, you can keep the basics, like your refrigerator and furnace, running if the power goes out.
8. Keep a 3-Day Supply of Necessities
Knowing you have the necessities on hand will give you peace of mind. Make sure you have plenty of batteries, 3 days’ worth of bottled water, and some non-perishable food on hand inside your home. A first aid kit and fire extinguisher are important, too.
9. Review Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
Look over your homeowners’ insurance policy at least annually. Get a clear idea of what is covered and what isn’t.
You might find storm damage is not covered if you fail to take care of pre-existing damage. In this case, you’ll have time to get any damage repaired before the next storm. Plus, if you do have to make a claim after the storm, the process will be more straightforward since the policy details are fresh in your mind.
10. Keep an Eye on the Weather
Never let a storm take you by surprise! Install a weather app on your phone, and check it daily for updates. Look for an app that alerts you if a storm or concerning weather is expected in your area. This way, you can head home, close your storm shutters, put away your patio furniture, and otherwise prepare before the storm hits.
11. Make an Evacuation Plan
If worst comes to worst, you may need to evacuate. Make a list of what you’ll bring, the route you’ll take, and where you’ll stay.
Following these 11 tips will not guarantee your home does not suffer storm damage. However, it will decrease your risk of severe damage. These steps will also help keep you safe, even if your home does succumb to the weather. A strong roof and gutters are two of your most reliable guardians against storm damage. If you’re looking for roofing services in Massachusetts, contact O’LYN Roofing. We offer free estimates, storm-resistant options, and professional repairs.