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.