When you move into a house, you don’t expect it to be hit by natural hazards on a constant basis. As a homeowner, you most likely want to envision a quiet and peaceful future in your cozy and warm home, rather than imagine apocalyptic scenarios in which your house is lifted by high winds just like Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz.
Even if you don’t live in a place where extreme weather phenomena are frequent, you should still keep in mind that nature is unpredictable and you shouldn’t rely on good luck when it comes to your home’s safety. It’s wiser to be prepared and take precautions, so when a rough windstorm does come your way, you’ll be able to handle the situation better.
If you start preparing when the storm is already on its way, it’s definitely too late. But if you come up with a plan well in advance, you increase the chances of avoiding major damages to your property. Here are a few steps you should follow to make sure your house withstands even the strongest winds.
Purchase home insurance
Home insurance protects your house and assets from unforeseen events. Of course, there are many factors to take into consideration when searching for home insurance. Different companies offer different policies, so it’s important to compare your options and choose the type of coverage that best suits your needs. For example, if you live in Florida you must make sure you have wind insurance for your house and usually homeowners insurance covers wind damage caused by storms.
Inspect the house for possible damage
In the idea that it’s better to fix than to replace, start with a thorough inspection of your house and surroundings to find out if there’s anything that needs fixing. It will sure cost you less to fix what’s broken now, than to do it after the storm, when the damages can be much more serious. You must check everything, from top to bottom and do the necessary repairs in due time. If you’ve started a home or garden project, now it’s as good a time as any to finish it.
Windows and glass doors are high risk spots during a windstorm, no matter how sturdy they may seem, as they can easily be shuttered when hit by a flying object at high speed. Consider installing exterior shutters to protect them from this risk. Aluminum shutters are a good option, as they can resist rough weather conditions. They’re great especially for those who live in humid areas because they will not rot. Besides, they’re quite affordable and will suit all types of architectural styles. For a classical look, you can install wood shutters that are both beautiful and sturdy.
Check the roof
The condition of your roof is extremely important in the event of a storm. If your roof is more than 15 years old, it may be time to replace it. If it’s still in relatively good condition, all you have to do is inspect it every once in a while. Since the roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of your house during a storm, it makes sense to pay extra attention to it. So, get up there and check if there are any missing tiles, signs of leaking, broken gutters or other signs of damage. It’s better to hire a specialist for the repairs, as they will have the equipment and skills necessary to secure the roof.
Draught-proof windows and doors
You can’t prevent a windstorm from happening, but you can stop icy winds from entering your house by sealing windows and doors. Check for cracks around the windows and door frames and apply a sealant to make them draught-proof. Your house will feel much cozier, not to mention you’ll also save on your bills, since you’ll use less energy for heating the place.
Trim the trees around the house
Some people might forget that in order to protect a house you must pay attention to what’s going on outside as well and that can be a costly mistake. If your house is surrounded by large beautiful trees, then you’re lucky, but also at risk of significant damage. Try to remove the branches that are dangerously close to your home and if a tree is in bad condition, it’s better to cut it down. Also, for safety’s sake, if you don’t have a garage, at least don’t park your car under a tree.
Put away garden items
Garden items can turn into dangerous projectiles during strong winds. Keep your garden as clean and tidy as possible and put away all the items that can take off during a storm. You wouldn’t want your garden chairs to fly in your neighbor’s patio. So, gather everything, from garden furniture to sports equipment and toys and store them in your garden shed. If you don’t have a shed, simply keep them inside until the storm has passed.
After you’ve stored your garden items in the shed, it’s time to take care of the shed itself. Since garden sheds aren’t built to withstand violent winds and they’re usually made of lightweight materials, there’s a high risk of them being blown away when a storm hits. To avoid this, you must secure your shed by using strong anchors to keep it fixed to the ground.
Buy a generator
Although it can be an expensive investment, a generator can get you through the storm safely. Outages are common in stormy weather, so if you don’t want to be left in the dark until the power is restored, it’s good to have a generator as a backup plan. But before you run to the store and buy a generator, you must keep in mind that using it is not always as easy as pressing a button. You must first learn about the dos and don’ts of running a generator and only use it if you’re sure you know what you’re doing.