Home owners, are you ready for storm season? We are in the summer season and even with Covid19, more people are looking to enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately the summer also brings severe storms in many parts of our state. These storms can do some great harm to our homes. Here are some helpful tips to prepare for whatever this new season has in store for your home.
1. Check Your Home Owners Insurance Policy
Most insurance agents will advise you to do an annual check of your policy so that you are always aware of what is covered and what is not covered under your policy. At the time of need is not a good time to realize that you're not covered or that you're under covered. Most insurance policies do not cover flood damage, but they do cover several other forms of storm coverage. By knowing your policy, you can better prepare for whatever storm may come.
A roof is one of the most important and costliest part of our home, but it's also one of the easiest to forget about, until something goes wrong. Most roofs should last between 17-20 years, so we don't think about it very often. However, the roof is what gets hit the most in these storms due to it's proximity to the sky. I've just sold a home where the home owner did not realize the amount of significant wind damage that had been done to her home over the years, until the home inspector advised them. It's worth the while to walk around your home and see if you see any missing shingles or noticeable damages. Of course a leak in your home is one of the bigger signs, but unfortunately by then, the repairs or replacement is likely to be very costly. Before any of that happens, it may be a good idea to ask for a roof inspection. Some inspectors will do it for free if you hire them to repair any damages they find. The stronger the roof, the greater likely for you to avoid any major damages when the storm comes.
3. Trim the Trees/Remove Dead Limbs and Trees
Falling limbs and trees are one of the biggest causes of property damage associated with storms. To prevent this from happening, trim trees as much as possible. Remove hanging limbs especially ones hanging over your home or your neighbor's. A dying tree can cause a huge amount of damage if it doesn't stand up to a storm.
4. How is Your Electricity Protected?
Lightning is one of the scariest parts of a bad storm and it can also cause some very expensive damage to your electrical units. A good idea is to install home surge protectors to protect your electrical units. Also hook critical electronics, like that 72" flat screen tv you love so much, to an uninterruptable power supply (UPS), which can keep them running a while after you lose regual power. A home generator can be expensive, but it certainly comes in handy when a severe storms knocks down all the power lines.
5. Check Your Shutters
Are your shutters secure? Severe wind can rip the shutters off of homes. Anything in your home that is screwed to your walls or home, check to make sure they are tightened. Any lose items in your yard, such as play ground equipment that can go flying towards your home in a severe wind storm, should also be checked or removed if necessary. This will decrease the chances of property damage for you and your neighbors.
6. Clean Your Gutters
And lastly, but also of great importance is to clean your gutters. In a severe storm, you really need your gutters to be working properly. A clear and properly working gutter will divert water away from your roof and your home to prevent leaks and flooding during storms. This is one of the least expensive things you can do that will provide great reassurances in the likely chance of a severe storm in many parts of our state this season.
I hope these tips are helpful. Please email or call me with any real estate questions you may have. Have a wonderful Summer!