After spending a significant amount of time at home during winter months, spring is a refreshing change of pace. But the change in seasons also ushers in changing weather patterns.
Meteorological experts predict an active and early storm season this year. Storm activity can place your family and home at risk if you’re not prepared. There are several easy steps you can take to reduce the amount of damage to your home and keep your family safe before the next seasonal storm.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts. A sunny spring day is an ideal time to make sure debris from winter weather is cleared from your gutters. While gutters are usually not top of mind for home owners, they play an essential role in controlling the flow of water around your home. If your gutters are not clear, you run the risk of water ruining your home’s foundation, eventually leading to a costly repair.
Trim Trees and Secure Fencing. Another outdoor activity to prep your home for pending storms is tending to the trees on your property. Dead or weak branches can fall on your home and damage your roof or break windows and doors. An arborist can trim trees that need attention. Loose posts or boards on fences are susceptible to high winds. Repairing or reinforcing your fence can help prevent the fence from turning into a flying object during a storm.
Inspect Your Roof. Significant water damage to the interior of your home due to a faulty roof can lead to costly restoration and renovation. A visual inspection to determine the current condition of your roof can be performed by you or a professional roofer. Look for signs of deterioration, such as loose, cracked or broken shingles or exposed nails.
Store Outdoor Accessories. Furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans are some of the common items found in backyards and patios. When the weather takes a turn, gusty winds can swoop up and hurl untethered objects, potentially damaging your home or homes around you. When the threat of severe weather approaches, take time to bring unsecured items inside your home or store them in your garage. Don’t forget to lock and secure your garage doors, high winds can fling them open.
Gather Emergency Supplies. Storms can lead to power outages and other disruptions, so it is important to have enough food, water and supplies on hand for several days. A disaster supplies kit should include water, non-perishable food, hand sanitizer/disinfecting wipes, a flashlight, first aid kit and backup chargers for cell phones. A complete and printable checklist of supplies for emergency kits is available at ready.gov/kit.
If your home sustains significant damage after a storm this year, beware of unscrupulous contractors. Before you hire a contractor, make sure the firm has a permanent business address and references available. Lakeland Builders Association has a list of reputable contractors in the area on this website in their membership directory. Go to the home page of this website and click on "Find A Member." For more information about preparing your home before disaster strikes consult with an LBA member.