Across Canada, we have been experiencing unusually severe summer storms. As a homeowner, it’s important that you, your family, and your property are ready for the potential of severe weather. There are many things you can do to safeguard your home before a storm to minimize the damage.
Keep important documentation safe and accessible during emergency situations – such as identification, insurance policies, and medical and legal documents. It’s a great idea to store all crucial documents together so they are easy to find quickly. Using a waterproof bag or safe, stored in an elevated location will prevent any potential water damage. Keeping these documents safe and accessible will save you precious time should an emergency occur.
If your property has experienced flooding resulting from past severe storms, consider installing a sump pump. This device helps to prevent water buildup in basements or lower levels of your home, minimizing flood damage and potential structural issues. Investing in a reliable sump pump system and having it installed by a professional will ensure proper functionality when you need it most. Do have it serviced regularly to ensure it remains in working order.
Get to Work Outside
Keep trees on your property trimmed to prevent weak branches from falling or becoming broken from strong winds. Have old or damaged trees removed. These trees will be more susceptible to becoming hazardous to buildings during a storm.
Put away or strap down patio furniture and other loose items to avoid getting damaged or causing damage.
If you live in an area that is prone to severe flooding, you can place sandbags in strategic locations on your property to divert water away from your home.
Shingles and Roofing
Attend to any problems regarding your roof promptly. Strong winds can destroy shingles, and if followed by rain, can result in leaks, possible water damage, and eventually mould. However, severe weather won’t wait until your roof is fixed. Installing a temporary tarp may prevent further damage during the storm.
Cleaning your eavestroughs out before a storm will help ensure that water is properly drained away from your home and foundation. Blockages and backups can cause damage to your roof due to excessive weight on the eavestroughs and can lead to water damage. Make sure to check where the troughs are diverting water. No matter how much rain a storm may bring, you will want to ensure the water isn’t pooling anywhere around your building.
Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are typically the points of your home that are most vulnerable during a storm. During a storm, lock windows and doors to secure. Storm shutters can help protect windows from flying debris and hazards. During extremely severe storms, using plywood boards will also provide protection for windows or reinforce windows and doors by adding diagonal bracing boards to provide additional support. Installing extra-long screws during installation will provide reinforcement for the hinges. Check that weatherstripping is secure, sealed properly, and not damaged. Always have old windows and doors replaced.
If severe weather is forecasted in your area, you may not have the time and resources to prepare in advance. Inspect your property regularly and consider the impacts of severe weather. Should you suspect that your property may not withstand strong winds or large amounts of heavy rain, address the situation immediately. Prevention is key to minimizing property damage. Maintaining your property and taking steps to prepare your home before a storm hits, can lessen the impact of storm damage and the cost of repairs or future restoration.