Each year, thousands of homes suffer major structural damage due to a passing storm. Although there is no way to prevent the occurrence of a severe storm, making the necessary preparations to your home will help to minimize the amount of damage. Here are five steps to storm-proofing your house.
Board up the windowsThe windows and doors are very vulnerable during an intense storm. A broken window or busted door compromises the structural integrity of the entire home. Within a split-second, rain and wind can cause a great deal of destruction to the interior of the home. Although storm shutters offer the best level of protection, boarding up the entry points to the home will work when the storm is steadily approaching.
Keep the tree limbs trimmedDuring a violent storm, tree limbs can transform into dangerous projectiles that can cause substantial damage to a home. Promptly removing any dead tree limbs will greatly reduce the risk of the house being marred. If the surrounding power lines are being overtaken by tree limbs, contact the power company to have them pruned accordingly.
Buckle down the roofSwirling wind and powerful downpours of rain can put a lot of stress on the roof. Any loose shingles or tiles need to be securely fastened with roofing cement and nails. If there are any known leaks in the roof, they need to be repaired well in advance. Even an opening that is the diameter of a pen can allow several gallons of rain to enter the home.
Add support to the garage doorIf your home is designed with a garage, it will likely need to be reinforced around the door area. Strong gusts of wind can easily crush the structure of a garage door. Although large pieces of plywood will offer some protection, there are reinforcement kits available that can withstand the effects of a severe storm. If you are on a budget, WholesaleBolts.com sells carriage bolts in large quantities that can used to securely fasten plywood to the exterior of the garage door.
Check the drainage systemClogged gutters can cause a lot of problems during severe weather. Always take the extra time to inspect each gutter for a buildup of debris. It is also important that the ground surrounding the home is designed in a manner that allows water to flow downward from the foundation.
Although a severe storm is an unpredictable force of nature, staying prepared will give your home the best chance of withstanding the powerful elements.
Marlena Stoddard writes on emergency preparation and energy independent homes. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and 2 children. When she isn't spending time with her children or writing, Marlena enjoys hiking and photography. For more on Marlena, you can follow her on Google+.