Your house is your sanctuary, and it’s meant to keep you safe. That said, Mother Nature might have other plans. While you can’t control things like hurricanes and wildfires, there are ways you can be safeguarding your home against some of the most common natural disasters.
So what can you do to protect your property? You’ll need to roll up your sleeves and put in work for several of these tasks. But it’s better to handle it now than later.
With that in mind, here are nine ways to protect your home against extreme weather events.
1. Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is a priority when it comes to protecting against the elements. Leaks can lead to the development of toxic mold, and over time, water can warp your studs.
You should inspect your roof twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. When you do, look for blistering or curling shingles and cracked caulk or rubber around vents. Always wear a hard hat when climbing ladders, and consider calling a professional service if your home is two or more stories.
2. Upgrade Your Door
Your front door lets you lock yourself safely away from the outside world. However, if it’s crumbling or insecure, it won’t offer much of a barrier in the case of disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes. Plus, a deteriorating door looks like a welcome mat to a thief.
Consider replacing wooden doors with an energy-efficient steel model to protect yourself. Such doors can withstand environmental hazards like the wind during storms. They also insulate your home and offer superior security.
3. Shutter Your Windows
If you live somewhere like Florida or the Midwest, you need to think about safeguarding your home against natural disasters. Shattered glass can pose a serious threat, and it allows torrents of water to drench your belongings.
You can use sheets of plywood to protect your windows as effectively as shutters, although this solution lacks aesthetic appeal. If you want your home to maintain ultimate curb appeal, investing in hurricane shutters can save you significant amounts of money and heartache.
4. Walk Your Foundation
Your foundation holds up your home, and if it crumbles, you could face a hefty bill or a total loss. Plus, a weak foundation prevents you from protecting against natural disasters.
Take time to inspect your home’s exterior for cracks at least once per year. Small vertical fissures can appear as a result of concrete shrinkage over time. However, wide cracks or those that resemble stairs call for a professional inspection. If you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Shore Up Your Landscaping
If you live on a slope, floodwaters can enter your basement and crumble your foundation. You can build a retaining wall or a pebble creek bed to direct the flow away from your house. You can also plant a rain garden to absorb water before it reaches your home.
Be careful to keep them a sufficient distance away from your foundation to ensure that excess water doesn’t pool there before your plants can drink it.
6. Clear Away Debris
Overgrown trees and shrubbery produce multiple problems. They provide cover to hide thieves and create considerable debris. Plus, fallen leaves and branches offer the perfect fuel for wildfires. To protect your home from this threat, keep your landscaping neat and trimmed.
Tree branches that overhang your roof can break during a storm or ignite and drop embers. Keep limbs from extending over your roof by hiring a professional service when necessary.
7. Invest in Smart Devices
Depending on the age and type of appliances you own, natural gas leaks can threaten your family. However, certain devices like carbon monoxide detectors can eliminate the issue.
Some devices contain emergency sensors that can alert you to rising floodwaters from broken pipes. These warn you via cellphone, enabling you to call for help, even if you’re traveling far from home.
8. Check Your Insurance
Your homeowner’s insurance policy covers many things, but it won’t protect you against all disasters. For example, if your home lies in a flood zone, you’ll likely need a separate policy to cover damage.
Review your plan on an annual basis, as your needs may change. For example, you may invest in pricey computer equipment for work. Make sure to cover everything vital to your survival.
9. Use Safety Instruments
Keep critical safety devices in your home for protecting against natural disasters. If you occupy a second-story or higher room, invest in an emergency ladder, as a fire could block your regular escape route. Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher, or more if you have ample square footage.
Pack an emergency bag containing three days’ worth of water and food, as well as necessary supplies like hand sanitizer and backup chargers for cell phones. If you need to evacuate in a hurry, you’ll have everything ready to toss in the car.
Safeguard Your Home Against Natural Disasters With These Tips
You can’t stop Mother Nature, but you can minimize the risks. Use the tips above to safeguard your home against natural disasters.
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