Archive for July, 2015

Preparing Your Home for Summer Storms

Although hurricane season is well under way, it’s never too late to prepare your home for summertime storms. Even typical summer storms can cause damage to your home without preparation, leaving you with significant cleanup costs and a home at greater risk if another storm or hurricane does occur. Regardless of your home improvement experience and budget, there are several steps you can take to protect your home from wind, rain, hail, lighting, and other damaging weather.

Maintain Your Roof

Roof damage is one of the most common side effects of severe summer weather. A leak in your roof can also cause widespread flooding throughout your home, making your roof your top priority when it comes to preventing storm-related damage. Have your roof inspected once a year by a roofing professional and follow any recommended maintenance tasks, such as gutter cleaning, to keep your roof in good shape. As soon as you notice roof damage, such as missing shingles, loose flashing, or pooling water, schedule repairs promptly to address the issue and ensure your roof will be solid and secure when a storm does hit.

Perform an Inventory

Performing a quick inventory of your valuables serves several purposes. First, an updated inventory can help you report accurate losses to your insurance if a storm causes damage to your valuables. Second, knowing where your most expensive items are located can alert you if you need to take additional steps to protect them. Electronics should be elevated off the floor to prevent water damage, while breakables should be moved away from windows and doors in case of high winds or blowing debris. Taking an inventory of items stored in your attic, basement, or crawlspace can alert you to poor storage techniques that could also leave these items vulnerable—consider storing items in waterproof bins at the highest point of your basement or crawlspace, and move items out of your attic if you are concerned about water, mold, or wind damage.

Clear Your Yard

Most of the blowing debris generated by summertime storms comes from your own yard. Thus, clearing your yard of potential debris is the best way to protect your home from this type of damage. Make sure there is a place for all toys, bicycles, and yard equipment in your garage or an outdoor storage receptacle, such as a bin or shed. Avoid leaving these items out, even if a storm isn’t predicted. Inspect your trees and other landscaping regularly and address plants that appear in poor health to prevent fallen trees from damaging your home. Keep your landscaping trimmed, particularly near your home and around your air conditioner condenser.

Understand Your Insurance Policy

Your homeowner’s insurance policy will become important in the event of storm damage. Take some time to read through your policy and make sure you understand which types of damage are and aren’t covered. If you are concerned that you may not be covered in the event of a storm, talk to your insurance company to explore your options. Many homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flooding by default, meaning you may be left with the bill for water cleanup after a storm if you haven’t opted for additional flood insurance.

With the right preparation, you can minimize or even avoid summer storm damage due to rainstorms, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. If you need help with cleanup or insurance reconstruction after a storm, please visit our website to find out more about our services in Wilmington, NC, as well as discover more helpful storm, flood, and fire cleanup tips on our blog.

Hurricane Damage Prevention and Mitigation

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Hurricane season lasts from June 1st through November 30th, although storms can occur prior to and after these dates. Every year, hurricanes cause damage to homes and other buildings throughout coastal areas. Hurricane damage during active seasons can reach tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars over the course of several months. The key to protecting your property from hurricane damage is preparation, both before and after the storm. Knowing how to prepare your home for an oncoming storm, as well as the steps to take immediately after a storm to mitigate any damage that may have occurred, will help to minimize any property damage and losses you may suffer.

Types of Hurricane Damage

To achieve classification as a hurricane, a storm must produce sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater. These high winds are one of the primary causes of hurricane damage, dislodging any parts of your home that are not securely anchored, as well as subjecting your home to fast-moving debris carried along by the storm. In addition to high winds, hurricanes also produce heavy rains, making flooding another common type of hurricane damage that affects homes both on the coasts and further inland. Hurricanes also produce lightning and hail, which can contribute to both property damage and power outages that may affect electronics and appliances in your home.

Preventing Hurricane Damage

There are many ways to address vulnerabilities in your home’s structure to prepare it for the conditions produced by a hurricane. First, keep yourself up to date on the weather and take action as soon as a hurricane is expected to hit your area. Protecting your home means preventing its protective outer “shell” from becoming breached, so make sure your roof, doors, windows, and siding are all in good condition. Secure your garage door and use storm shutters or plywood to cover your windows for added protection. Whole-house and single-outlet surge protectors can prevent power surges from damaging your electronics, while a sump pump can prevent lower areas of your home from flooding. Elevating sensitive electronics and appliances above the expected flood level can prevent them from sustaining damage if flooding does occur.

Mitigating Hurricane Damage

Hurricanes are unpredictable by nature and even with precautions in place, your property may still sustain damage during a storm. Taking steps as soon as possible after a storm to address any damage you find will help to minimize its effects on your home. If you evacuated your home prior to the storm, perform a thorough inspection from the outside in when you return to determine if and where damage has occurred. If your home is flooded, do not enter it until you are sure the power and gas have been shut off to prevent electrocution and other injuries. Contact a professional service to help you assess and repair the damage caused by flooding, wind, fire, or power loss to prevent or put a stop to issues such as mold growth or deterioration of your home’s flooring, walls, and furnishings.

If your home has been damaged during a storm, professional storm damage mitigation will restore your home to pre-storm condition quickly and with less disruption to your daily life. You can explore our full range of damage mitigation services when you visit us on the web, including fire damage, mold damage, and water damage restoration. You’ll also find more helpful articles on disaster prevention and damage cleanup when you click through the articles on our blog.