Bad weather is one of those things we just can't avoid. Sometimes it's an inconvenience, putting a damper on your plans for a weekend BBQ or picnic outside. But other times, when storms hit, the consequences can be much more extreme — especially when it comes to the potential for damage to your home.
Taking care of your property in the face of an incoming storm is very important. By following our simple checklist, you'll minimize the chances of the weather wreaking havoc on your home.
Tidy Up Your Yard
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Loose debris causes most injuries and home damage during a storm. Just think of how easily a piece of garden equipment or a large branch could smash through a window if lifted by the wind. The easiest and quickest way to prevent storm damage is to keep your yard free from these potential projectiles. Tidy away any loose branches, garden tools, pots, or outdoor games, and secure any large pieces of landscaping such as rocks or boulders.
Protect Your Appliances
Image via Flickr by Charles Patrick Ewing
Your appliances are at risk from storms too, so make sure they are well-protected. Any domestic appliances that need to be plugged in can be damaged by power surges related to electrical storms. To prevent this, either start unplugging your devices when not in use (they aren't safe if they're left plugged in, even when they're switched off) or invest in surge protectors.
Don't forget your larger units. Chances are, you've spent a lot of money on your HVAC unit and its installation, and storms can do a substantial amount of damage. There are a few things you can do to protect yours, though.
A surge protector won't prevent power surges from damaging your HVAC, so make sure you unplug it during a storm. Make sure you cover your unit as tightly as possible to keep storm debris clear and to keep animals out. And before you turn your HVAC back on, thoroughly check for junk which may have become lodged in the system.
Secure Your Trees
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If a storm hits, the trees on your property could turn from a beautiful asset to a deadly hazard, with the potential to fall and destroy parts of your yard... or even your home itself. Try to find and fix any issues ahead of time. Look for any trees which seem to be unstable. They might show signs of unhealthiness such as broken branches, weak points, or upon closer inspection, cracks or decay in the trunk.
If you do see any branches hanging off, make sure you remove them. If you notice any signs of major problems, deal with them as soon as you can. If you can't fix the problem yourself, call out a professional.
Preparing for a storm is all about being proactive, checking your yard, and making sure your appliances are secured ahead of time. This way, when a storm hits, your home will be ready to weather it.