Northern Virginia is certainly no stranger to harsh storms. Be it wind, rain, snow or some combination of them all, inclement weather can take a real toll on your home. Significant damage can happen in an instant, so windows, roofs, foundations, and more all need to be protected from Mother Nature’s fiercest elements. Start now to get your home prepared and you’ll save time and money down the road. We’ve pulled together some great tips that will show you how to protect your home from stormy weather this season.
Seal the Gaps
Start by sealing up any gaps in doors, windows and pipes. Weather causes the caulking that seals your windowsills, door jambs and other openings to contract, which then causes the caulking to crack or wear out. A modest investment in a basic caulking gun and waterproof sealant is all it takes to fix any potential leaks and cracks. Be sure to check for gaps in these areas:
- Entry points for cable and telephone wires
- Electrical outlets
Secure the Roof
Shingles, especially those closest to the roof’s edge, help keep water from accumulating on the roof during a natural disaster. Carefully inspect and replace any worn or missing shingles and seal any loose connections. A roof’s soffits help prevent water damage when properly secured and maintained. You can reinforce weakened soffits by adding properly spaced screws along the perimeter followed by waterproof sealant between the soffit panels and your home’s walls. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety® (IBHS) offers some great guidance on fortifying your roof.
Storm Proof Windows & Doors
When the winds picks up, glass is often the first thing to break, creating a huge hazard. One of the best ways to protect your home and family is to install storm shutters. If you don’t want to hang permanent ones on your home’s exterior, create your own by attaching plywood to your windows until the storm has passed.
Pack or Pick Up Loose Items
Flying debris -both natural and man-made -can wreak havoc on your home, power lines and drainage systems. Broken or weakened branches should be trimmed from trees and shrubs. Heavy lawn furniture should be anchored and lighter pieces, along with items like flowerpots, garbage cans and gardening tools, should be brought indoors or safely stored away in an outdoor shed.
- If your home is prone to flooding, install a sump pump to protect your basement.
- Waterfront homes come with special challenges, with the most common problem being leaks associated with the flashing. Take these common storm protection steps to protect your waterfront home.
Finally, if you’re planning or are doing a building or remodeling project, have the contractor reinforce the connections between your home’s roof and walls, and also between the walls and foundation. According to the IBHS, the cost of doing so adds very little to your overall budget, but the fortifications could leave your roof intact and your house standing during a violent storm. With just a little research and advanced planning, how to protect your home from stormy weather is a relatively easy task, but an important one that will keep your family safe and give you peace of mind.