Ways to Disaster Proof Your Home

Cleaning gutters and trimming trees is not everyone’s favorite pastime. But when a storm hits, these mundane tasks can serve as your home’s armor.

These tips will get your home ready for disasters, like water damage to your home, power outages, and more.

Clean Gutters to Prevent Water Damage

Cleaning the gutters may seem like a simple task, and that’s why many people put it off. Yet clogged gutters can lead to a great deal of damage over time. Water can overflow and penetrate your home’s foundation. Water can also seep into your attic and damage walls.

While you clear out debris, make sure to also check the downspouts for clogs by flushing them with water from a garden hose. If you’re not up to doing all this, just hire a pro.

Protect Your Roof from Storm Damage by Trimming Trees

You know what happens in severe storms. Tree limbs break away and fall. If huge tree limbs are dangling over your house, you’re at risk for major roof damage. Cut back limbs to reduce their weight.

Also, make sure they’re at least four feet above the roof. Tree limbs make great balance beams for critters to tumble into your attic; don’t make it easy on them.

Install a French Drain to Keep Storm Water Away

A French drain is a lightly sloped trench (1 inch per 8 feet) filled with round gravel and a pipe that diverts water away from your house.

The drain can be shallow or deep depending on whether you’ve got a soggy lawn or a bigger problem with water entering your basement during heavy storms.

Prepare for a Power Outage with a Generator

We all know that power outages area a reality in strong storms. An hour or two of darkness is merely an inconvenience. But when an outage lasts more than a day, it can get hazardous and costly.

Investing in a portable or standby generator is a very smart decision. Make sure that the generator can handle your appliance needs as well. A four-slice toaster might use a whopping 1,650 watts, way more wattage than a portable AC unit (often under 500 watts).

Install Impact-Proof Doors and Windows

Not all doors are the same when it comes to handling storms. Impact-resistant windows, doors, and garage doors can inhibit high winds that cause structural damage from entering your home. Impact-resistant windows and doors may get you a discount on your home insurance.

Update Your Insurance

Review your homeowners insurance to make sure you can actually rebuild your home if it’s destroyed or heavily damaged in a storm. Also make sure your policy covers flood damage.

Plus, make updates based on recent home improvements, like that fancy burglar alarm you just installed, and ask about any new discounts for bundling with your car insurance.

Check Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers don’t actually expire, but it’s seal can weaken over time. This can render it useless. Check that the locking pin is intact and the pressure gauge or indicator is pointing to “full.” (Sometimes this is a green bar.)

And did you know you’re supposed to keep a fire extinguisher on each floor? Or that different rooms require a different type of extinguisher? If not, a fire-safety shopping spree might be in order.