According to Shirin Ali, about 15 million houses in the United States were affected by severe natural disasters in 2021. As climate change continues to affect different states and nations, homeowners are finding it necessary to take on a home restoration or remodeling project to ensure their homes are protected against severe weather damage. There are some additions you could make around your home to protect it. They include;
1. Window and door Reinforcements
Windows play an important role in the home by allowing natural light into the house, and they also help with ventilation. During severe weather, such as severe storms and heavy winds, the windows are the main entry points of water, wind, and debris. They can cause severe weather damage to your home. To prevent this, you should consider reinforcing your doors, windows, and window frames as part of your home remodeling.
You can use various materials to reinforce your frames. However, aluminum is one of the most popular materials that is a first choice for many homeowners. Although there have been contradicting myths and misconceptions surrounding the use of aluminum, there are numerous benefits of using aluminum framing to reinforce your doors and windows.
One of the main benefits of using aluminum is durability. According to Optima Window, aluminum frames can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. Aluminum is a strong and durable material designed to withstand harsh weather conditions such as storms, winds, and direct sunlight. Suppose you are looking to reinforce your windows and doors. In that case, you should hire a local metal supply company to supply you with the needed materials.
2. Secure Roof Shingles
Storms are a common occurrence in the United States. In fact, according to NSSL, there are roughly 100,000 storms each year, and about 10% of them reach severe levels. One of the primary functions of a roof is to protect the house from harsh weather, but as the roof fights to fulfill its mandate, it can unfortunately suffer severe weather damage in the process. Therefore, roof reinforcement is important to ensure it can safely withstand a storm.
One of the ways you can reinforce your roof before a storm is by securing roof shingles; whether you buy them from one dealer or not, shingles are not all created equal. Some can hold steady during a storm, while others are easily blown away. Therefore, as the storm season approaches, it is important to hire a roofing contractor to help nail down any weak or loose shingles on your roof to secure it.
Your contractor should also check for any missing shingles and replace them. A missing shingle creates a gap in the roof that could cause further damage when wind or water gets through. In the unfortunate event this happens, you may have to replace an entire roof, which is costly. It would help if you hired a local roof coatings company to further reinforce your roof.
3. Install New Gutters
After ensuring your roof is storm-ready, don’t forget to check your gutters for damages that may require repairs or replacements. Other than decorative purposes, gutters play a key role in safeguarding the structure of a building; they direct rainwater away from the house. If not properly maintained, overexposure to different elements can result in severe weather damage. Some signs to look out for to determine if you need to hire gutter installations or maintenance services include sagging gutters, leaks, clogs, and improper slopes.
Clogs are one of the most common problems homeowners experience with their gutters. A few leaves may not appear as a threat for some, but when left to collect in the gutters, they can result in clogs that cause water to collect on the roof, resulting in damage to the roof. Therefore, you should consider installing gutter guards to stop debris from collecting in your gutters. Remember, as important as it is to have gutters on your roof, you don’t necessarily have to compromise on aesthetics. Instead of regular gutters, you can choose to have seamless gutters, which are more appealing.
4. Have a Backup Power Generator
According to Climate Central,83% of the reported power outages between 2000 and 2021 resulted from weather-related occurrences such as hurricanes, ice storms, flooding, and heat waves. Therefore, you should consider getting a power generator to ensure your house is ready to withstand extreme weather conditions.
For most people, when they think about having a generator, they think about its role in ensuring the lights are on. However, a generator’s functions exceed ensuring the lights stay on. A generator will help to power your HVAC system, which helps to ensure comfort for the occupants.
No one wants to be outside when a storm hits. You can’t go to eat at a restaurant or order food to be delivered to your house. A backup generator will help power your cooking appliances and ensure you can have a nice home-cooked meal inside your house.
One of the main reasons Americans buy backup generators is to aid during emergencies, meaning the generator will have to be stored away most of the time. Instead of storing it in the house where it occupies space that would otherwise be used for different functions, you can hire a home addition builder to help build a storage room next to the main house. Ensure you create a cool, dry space where the generator is protected against moisture and dust.
5. Flood Proof Your Home
According to Statista, between 2010 and 2019, more than 130 flood incidents were reported in the United States. Floods can potentially cause severe weather damage that can wipe out entire cities and neighborhoods. Therefore, before you lock yourself inside your home and wait for a storm to pass., it is important to inspect the house for damages, such as gas leaks and downed power lines, which can potentially escalate a problem.
Examples of damages caused by floods include appliance damage, mold, structural, damaged septic systems, and electrical damage. These damages can potentially put the entire house in jeopardy. Therefore, you should ensure your home is ready for a flood regardless of location. According to Alani Asis, the steps to ensure your home is flood-ready include measuring your level of risk and purchasing a home insurance policy.
Whether preparing for a storm or acting on a directive from the local government, it is impossible to completely flood-proof your home. However, you can take a few steps to ensure you are better prepared for when the floods hit. For example, you could varnish wooden skirting boards to avoid water damage, air brick covers, stock up on sandbags, or raise household appliances.
6. Inspect Your Sump Pump
Typically, a sump pump is a pit that helps to remove water from the ground and pump away any water from your basement. Unfortunately, during a heavy downpour, flooding is inevitable. However, you can take a few precautions to avoid damage to the house and loss of appliances. It is important to note that your lawn is critical in managing the risk of flooding on your property.
Therefore, it’s important to take note of the direction of the flow of water in relation to your house. You can use a water hose and watch the direction in which water flows. Ideally, the water should flow away from the house. If not, you can have a landscaper to level your lawn so rainwater flows away from the house.
In the unfortunate event water gets into your basement, your sump pump will help to pump out the water. It is, therefore, important to ensure your sump pump is routinely inspected to ensure it works effectively. There are many different types of sump pumps. According to SSPMA, your specific type of sump pump determines the maintenance schedule; it can be monthly, quarterly, or annually.
7. Timely Tree Inspections
Every homeowner dreams of having well-manicured lawns leading up to their houses. They may add trees to their landscape to enhance the curb appeal and create an inviting environment. Trees on a lawn are great to look at and a great way of caring for the environment. However, these trees can also potentially cause damage to your property or injure you if they are weak.
During a wind or rain storm, the weak trees on your lawn could easily break and potentially fall on your house, resulting in severe weather damage. Therefore, hiring a qualified arborist to inspect the trees on your lawn and help remove any damaged trees or branches is important.
8. Secure Outdoor Structures
According to the findings of the International Casual Furnishing Association, 86% of American households have an outdoor living space that is often fitted with furniture. So, how do you ensure your outdoor furniture is secure during a wind storm? Wind storms have the potential to cause severe weather damage when they pick up outdoor furniture and toss it in the air. This puts your house at risk of damage if the furniture is tossed towards your structure, and your neighboring houses may also suffer a similar consequence.
It is therefore important to ensure you secure all your outdoor furniture to avoid any costly damages. You could move furniture into the house to minimize the risk if you have enough space. If your furniture can’t be brought into the house, for example, a large metallic table, you should lay it down on the side and secure it with an anchor.
You should also cover all structures to avoid water damage. Finally, don’t forget to take inventory of all your outdoor structures; the truth is, even after taking necessary precautions to minimize the risk of severe weather damage, your structures may still get damaged. Taking an inventory of all your structures accompanied with photos of their current condition will serve as evidence to your insurer in case you need compensation.
9. Lightening Protection
According to Penny Electric, one in every 200 houses in the United States is struck by lightning annually. Factors such as local climate and structures around the house affect the level of risk. Although protecting your home from lightning may not be on your list of priorities, you must put the right measures in place to protect your home. Lightening can potentially cause severe weather damage to different parts of the house, including chimneys, siding, gutters, and shingles.
If you are uncertain whether or not your house has been struck by lightning, there are some signs to look out for, such as shock wave damage and visible fire damage on your roof. Fire is arguably one of the biggest risks associated with lightning, it is therefore important to use less combustion-friendly materials on your roof to reduce the risk of fire. Metal is a good conductor of electricity and, hence, should not be used on gutters and water pipes around the roof of a home.
10. Replacing Your Garage Doors
Although many people are well aware that a storm can cause severe weather damage to a house, many underestimate the role a garage door plays in ensuring safety during a storm. The garage door covers the largest entrance to the house. If the door lacks good reinforcement, a storm could easily tear down the door, exposing the house to further damage.
Your garage door is probably the second most used entrance to your home, meaning it’s probably opened and closed a few times daily. Over time, this required use of the door can weaken it and make it more susceptible to damage, assess the damage, and determine if the door should be repaired or replaced. If a storm hits a damaged door, the results may be severe. It is, therefore, important to reinforce your door to reduce the severity of damage. Some ways to secure your garage door include attaching braces and installing an impact and wind-resistant door.
You can make many additions to your home to ensure it is safe from severe weather damage. Ensure you hire qualified contractors by looking through different profiles, checking out previous client reviews, or getting recommendations from family or friends. Remember, contractors charge different fees. Source through the market, and get a contractor whose rates are the most ideal for your specific budget.