When you know a storm is on its way in the coming days or weeks, it’s important to prepare your home for potential damages. There are a variety of threats to your home or business at play during a storm including water damage, wind damage, hail and flying debris. Each of these should be considered individually when preparing for a storm to hit. Read these tips from ServiceMaster Advantage on preparing your home for a storm in Houston, Texas.
You should inspect the outside areas of your home first. Make sure you trim any low hanging or suspiciously close branches from trees away from the house. This includes any yard debris that could easily be picked up by heavy winds such as playground toys, patio furniture or landscaping and gardening tools.
Clean and inspect your gutters to make sure they can properly drain any water coming from the roof. You should also make sure your gutters and downspouts are firmly attached to the building, as sometimes the weight of the water from heavy rains can pull them away from the house. Always make sure that runoff is directed away from the foundation of the house so that you don’t find yourself with a flooded basement once the storm is over. Extend your downspouts at least six feet away from the foundation.
Check doors, windows and trim for cracks or missing caulking. Ensure all gaskets and seals still look good. If any wood or drywall feels soft or spongy, it means that it’s weak and possibly suffering from water damage already. You will need to replace these pieces as they will be the first to collapse in the event of a storm. If you have masonry or stucco, use mortar repair and crack sealant for any areas that look like they may result in a leak.
Your roof will take the majority of the damage caused by the storm. Depending on the extremity of the weather, most roofs can handle heavy rains and minor hits from debris. However, if you notice cracks in the shingles or tiles and water stains on your ceilings, then you might have a problem. Get this looked at BEFORE the storm, if possible. These weak points in your roof will cause a whole host of new problems if you don’t seal them up. It’s also equally important to rid your roof of moss that holds onto moisture. Moisture will gather in these areas and collapse over time. Check your chimney as well. Your chimney should be cleaned as part of your storm-proofing process.
Batten down the hatches! Prepare precut boards to cover windows if it’s supposed to be a severe storm. Have battery backups and generators in case the power goes out. If possible, put your house on a surge-protection system and unplug major appliances when not in use. If possible, avoid using corded phones and electronics. If lightning is involved, electrical wires can conduct this electricity inside. Keep your drapes and blinds closed in case something does come through the window, that way the glass that shatters doesn’t hit somebody.
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