Storm Proofing Your Home
Recently, Ontario was hit by an intense storm that left many with property damage, and more without power. Although storms of this calibre are not a regular occurrence, hard-hitting storms are more common during the spring and summer months. These storms can not only affect your home, but also your state of mind as they can be quite violent and frightening. Although there’s not much you can do to avoid a storm, there's a lot you can do to prepare for one.
Regardless of whether you’ve been a victim of storm damage, I recommend conducting a risk assessment of your property and hiring experts to inspect the rest. This is because some homes might not be storm-proof already, and may require repairs or structural upgrades. Preparing your home properly for an array of extreme weather conditions can ease some of the anxiety that comes with the anticipation of a bad storm. There are many commonly used tactics you can implement yourself to help keep your living space storm-proof, and valuables safe.
Water damage should be your main concern, as it is very common. (Here is a resource for determining your water damage risk.) It can enter your home in the form of snow, ice or rain in our climate. One way to help prevent water damage from storms is through sealing up any cracks in the exterior of your home, as well as caulking and weather-stripping around any exterior doors and windows. You can also take measures to keep moisture out by installing and maintaining proper ventilation, especially in areas where winds can blow rain sideways, as there can be entrances you don’t know about. In the unfortunate circumstance where water does enter, you want to make sure that any keepsakes, HVAC systems or other appliances that can be easily damaged are somewhat protected or elevated.
Another way to help protect your home from storms is by maintaining the areas around it. This can be part of your spring maintenance, and includes trimming trees that could damage your home and correcting any landscaping that could cause flooding, like surfaces that slant towards your house. It’s also important to clean your gutters and downspouts frequently, making sure that downspouts are extended about 2 metres or more from your home.
You should also check your roof for any loose shingles or cracked tiles, as they can provide the water with additional points of entry. Heavy loads of snow and ice during the winter months can wear away at your roof’s integrity. Your roof should be redone every 20 years, so depending on your situation this may be a good opportunity to contact a professional.
Thank you for reading my summary. Now that you know what to look for, you can start storm-proofing your home by conducting your own risk assessment. Consider what you’re able to effectively inspect on your property to minimize cost before hiring experts, but do consult them when necessary. Stay prepared and enjoy the summer season!
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