Knowing how to safeguard your home is essential. This is especially true if you live in places that get a lot of storms each year, such as Tampa, FL or Toronto, ON. Taking simple precautions to protect your home can help you avoid costly damages, saving time and hassle in the long run. From reinforcing your windows to trimming and pruning trees and bushes, check out these 6 tips to storm proof your home.
1. Keep your yard clear of debris and loose items
Most storm damage to your house and property results from items left in the yard or on the deck or patio that get picked up in high winds and can fly through a window or a door. Walk around the perimeter of your home to ensure that there are no stray objects such as shovels, loose branches, or other debris that can become dangerous during a storm.
2. Reinforce your windows
If your area has a lot of extreme weather, consider replacing your current windows with storm proof windows or weatherproof windows with reinforced glass to withstand high winds. If the weather predictions indicate an unusually severe storm, the safest bet is to reinforce the outside with sheets of plywood secured to your window frames.
3. Check and repair your roof regularly
Have a professional check your roof before the extreme weather season to ensure shingles are secure and gutters and downspouts are in place. Glue down any loose shingles so they don’t fly off during the storm. Also, keep your gutters clear of leaves, twigs, and other debris so that water can flow off and away from your home and into the storm drain.
4. Trim and prune trees and bushes
Dead branches or bushes can break off or tear away during a storm and become dangerous flying debris. Keep your trees and bushes maintained to prevent damage. Simple maintenance every month can keep your landscaping from harming your home and limit storm risk.
5. Insulate your home
Keep the cold out of your home by replacing your home’s insulation, weather stripping, and caulking. Wrap any exposed water pipes with insulation to protect them from freezing and prevent the possibility of a burst pipe, which can cause water damage.
6. Ensure your alarms and detectors are working
Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure that they’re being tested monthly and replaced every 10 years. Be sure to replace the batteries or buy units with battery backups to keep you and your family safe during a power outage.
Taking the time to follow these simple tips can go a long way towards preparing your home for the next storm.