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. (more…)

Hurricane Damage Prevention and Mitigation

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. (more…)

Getting Ready for Summer Grilling

Outdoor grilling is a time-honored tradition enjoyed by families across America. However, grilling can cause damage to your home if your grill is not properly maintained or placed. An estimated 8,800 home fires are caused by outdoor grills each year, with the majority of incidents occurring between May and August. Knowing how to prepare your grill for a summer of safe, delicious meals can help you prevent a home fire that could cause injuries or result in fire damage to your property.

Placing Your Grill

The placement of your grill plays an important role in its safe use. Never use an outdoor grill inside your home, your garage, or inside a trailer or tent, regardless of whether the grill is gas-, wood-, or charcoal-burning. When choosing the perfect place for your grill, select an area that is well ventilated and stable—all of your grill’s legs or wheels should be firmly on the ground or deck to prevent tipping. Avoid placing your grill beneath areas with overhangs, as these can accumulate smoke and soot damage and trap hot smoke and cinders near your home. If you’ll be grilling on your deck or in your yard, consider using a grill mat to catch grease, cinders, and other debris; grill mats are flame resistant and can withstand high heat, preventing the ground or decking underneath your grill from catching on fire. Even if you’ll be grilling on a patio or paved walkway, a grill mat can still protect this area from unsightly stains. (more…)

Keeping Your Air Conditioner’s Drain Line Clear

Air conditioning systems create moisture runoff as they remove heat and humidity from the air. In the case of central air conditioning, this runoff is funneled through a drain line to the exterior of your home. However, like any plumbing drain, this line is vulnerable to clogs. When clogs form, excess moisture can accumulate inside your air conditioner or in the area surrounding it, causing water damage to the appliance and your home. Standing water caused by moisture accumulation can also lead to mold growth, especially during the warm, humid months of the summer. Keeping your air conditioner’s drain line clear of dirt, debris, and mold will prevent water damage and the need for water restoration due to drain line clogs.

Change Your Furnace Filter Regularly

Your furnace filter screens out airborne particles, such as dust, pollen, and animal dander, every time air is drawn into your HVAC system. By screening out these particles, your filter prevents them from reaching the interior of your air conditioner, which also includes its drain and drain line. If you don’t use a furnace filter or leave your old filter in place long past its functional lifetime, your air conditioner becomes susceptible to greater dirt and dust buildup, which can in turn lead to clogs in its drain line. You should always use a furnace filter, regardless of the season, and replace your filter with a new one every 30-90 days. (more…)

Signs of A/C Drain Line Problems

Your air conditioner removes humidity from the air inside your home during the cooling process. Thus, central air conditioners incorporate a drain line to funnel excess moisture away from the appliance, which runs from the evaporator unit inside your home to an exit point outside. Problems with this drain line can cause backups and mold growth to occur, affecting your home comfort or leading to water damage near your air conditioner. Thus, it’s important to recognize the signs of a drain line problem so you can act quickly to minimize the damage caused by this common issue.

 

Standing Water

Moisture is drawn out of your home’s air by the indoor evaporator unit of your central air conditioner. Problems with the unit’s drain line can cause water to back up, leading to standing water around your evaporator unit or your furnace. It’s a good idea to take a look at your HVAC system at least once a month; if you notice standing water, you should begin checking the unit daily to determine its cause. Because central HVAC systems are typically located in areas of the home where other leaks could occur, it’s important to determine whether the standing water is coming from your air conditioner or another source. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to address the source of the water and contact a professional for water cleanup services to prevent further damage to your home. (more…)

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