Storm Damage Prevention

How to Reduce the Risk of Weather-Related Damage to Your Home

 

GUEST BLOG:  Natalie Jones of homeownerbliss.info.

 

Wind, rain, snow, and freezing temperatures can cause serious damage to your home. In fact, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, 10 weather events inflicted at least $1 billion in damage in the US. through the first nine months of 2019. Although you can’t avoid bad weather altogether, you can take precautionary measures to protect your home. Let’s take a look at the various types of weather issues and what you can do to mitigate damages.

Wind Damage

Heavy winds (as well as snow and ice) have the potential to snap tree limbs, causing them to fall and damage your home. Several times a year, inspect the trees around your property and look for limbs and branches that could potentially fall onto your home or other nearby properties. These trees should be trimmed regularly by a professional. The average cost of tree trimming ranges widely from $75 to $1,000, though this will depend on the size of the tree and other factors. Also, look for trees that are dead or rotting, which could easily come crashing down during a storm. For safety, dead trees should be removed immediately.

Water Damage

Flash floods, hurricanes, intense rain, and snowmelt can cause extensive water damage to your home itself and to your property inside. Fortunately, preventive measures can be taken to minimize the risk of such water damage.

Seal the Gaps

If your house isn't sealed properly, you are practically inviting storms to damage your home. So, replace old weatherstripping, caulk gaps, and patch holes to prevent water, wind, and critters from getting into your house and damaging your property.

Clean out Your Gutters

Leaves and other debris can clog your gutters, leading to water overflowing and causing damage to the exterior of your home, leaks into the interior of your home, and problems with the foundation. Clean your gutters regularly and ensure your downspouts are positioned properly.

Check Your Roof

In the summer or fall, have your roof professionally inspected to check for cracks, missing shingles, damaged flashing, or other problems. Fix any minor issues you encounter right away before they become larger and more costly to repair.

Snow Damage

Snow can damage your roof in a variety of ways. In addition to the aforementioned water damage from melted snow, the weight of the snow can also damage your roof. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, it takes four feet of fresh snow or two feet of older, compressed snow to create enough weight to stress a roof. Before winter, get your roof inspected by a qualified contractor to check for structural issues and possible leaks. Invest in a simple roof rake to get the snow off your roof and onto the ground.

Ice dams are another issue homeowners may encounter at some point. When your attic is warm, the snow melts in the middle of your roof, and that melted snow flows downward but refreezes near the eaves of your roof. This build-up of refrozen snow or ice can damage your gutters as well as work its way under your shingles. Icicles are a tell-tale sign of problematic ice dams. You can use a roof rake to remove ice dams, but you should also consider insulating your attic to stop the problem from occurring in the first place.

Cold Temperatures

Freezing temperatures can cause water pipes to freeze in areas of your home that are not insulated well, such as the attic, basement, and crawl spaces. The pressure inside the pipe can lead to it bursting and flooding your home. You can add a layer of insulation around these pipes in the form of foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves. These protective sleeves can be found at most hardware and home improvement stores.

Home ownership comes with some risks. That’s why we all need insurance. However, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover every type of damage to your home, and no one wants to deal with damage and repairs to their home. Fortunately, these tips can help reduce the risk and extent of damage caused by wind, rain, snow, and cold temperatures.

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