Now that summer has arrived, it’s time to anticipate rains and hurricanes again. But even during calmer seasons, our dwellings must always be well-prepared against the elements. Certain materials, like wood, are known for not resisting moisture well; hence they’re prone to rot. Meanwhile, metal, aluminum, and other more durable types may be tougher and longer-lasting, but they still require regular upkeep.
And of course, you shouldn’t forget about your cars, patios, decks, and gardens. If those aren’t roofed, they’d be the most vulnerable to storms and drought, causing them to deteriorate fast.
That said, here’s a simple guide on weatherproofing your home, and how to clean up safely after a hurricane.
1. Inspect the Roof
Inspect your roof from below, using binoculars to see every part up close. Check for any missing or loose tile or shingle, and if the aerials and chimney pots are damaged. If your roof is leaking or if the gutters are too dirty, call a professional, and don’t attempt to fix the problem yourself; your safety should be a priority!
2. Repair Walls
Your exterior walls may have cracks or puffs, and their pointing may have already gotten loose over time. If the damage is minor, you can fix the cracks yourself using the appropriate products. For major and complex damages, turn to an expert as well.
3. Spruce Up the Windows
Inspect your window frames for rot and other damage. Wooden frames can be chiseled out, then have the holes covered with filler. Once the filler has dried, sand the wood and coat it with paint or varnish. Installing storm doors is also recommended so that you’d have an extra layer of protection and insulation during winter.
If your windows are already in a state of major disrepair, have them replaced as soon as possible.
4. Protect Against Draft
Wind drafts can slip through the spaces at the bottom of your doors, so cut them out with a draft excluder. A strip of adhesive foam installed around the door frames and window edges also does the trick.
5. Clean Up the Yard
Fallen leaves and other debris should be swept away. Soil and moss must be cleared off the pathways, as they may be slippery, not to mention unsightly. Using a pressure washer is recommended if the surface dirt has already thickened.
Post-Storm Clean Up Tips
Even when your home is adequately prepared for a storm, the aftermath still remains unpredictable. You may be greeted by broken tree branches, floods, a destroyed garden, and ruined outdoor furniture.
If you suspect that a flood will enter your home, turn off the power while the water hasn’t risen yet. Unplug all cables as well.
Once the weather calms, inspect every nook and cranny of your home, and consider hiring a pro to help you tidy up. Dry out the soaked furniture immediately to prevent molds from developing.
If snow has built up due to heavy rain, use a shovel to clear it out, ensuring that you’re appropriately dressed and equipped. If icicles have formed on your roofs, don’t hack them out; instead, blow in cool air from the attic, aimed at the underside of the roof to stop the leaks.
If it’s a hail storm that struck, check your cars and sheds when it’s already safe out, and contact your area’s trusted auto hail damage repair expert when you spot dents and scratches.
In your garden, simply prune small broken branches and shrubs, and clear out fallen leaves and twigs. Call in an arborist to have broken trees taken out.
Likewise, turn to a pro if the strong winds shattered your windows. Note that if you’re unsure of your safety while cleaning up, it will never hurt to hire or call a pro for advice. Risking your safety isn’t worth it!