Spring weather means flowers blooming, baseball is starting, and the smell of fresh-cut grass is in the air. It also means heavy rains, severe thunderstorms, tornado threats, and possibly storm damage to your home. 

Spring’s unpredictable weather can wreak havoc on your property. From flooding to broken windows, homeowners face many challenges. However, there are preventative measures you can take to prepare your home to minimize damage and protect your home from harsh weather conditions. 

  • Inspect the Roof 
  • Clean Gutters and Downspouts
  • Seal Doors and Windows 
  • Maintain Your Sump Pump 
  • Clean Your Yard
  • Trim Trees
  • Create an Emergency Plan
  • Understand Your Insurance Policy

While you can’t prevent all storm damage, taking some of these small steps now you will save time, energy, and money down the road. We encourage you to always be prepared, and stay safe!

Your first line of defense against heavy rain is the roof, as it is the first place that gets hit. It is important to be proactive about taking care of your roof to prevent further damage. You can look for signs of a bad or aging roof to let you know if your home is ready for spring. Step outside to check for any loose, curling, discolored, or missing shingles. If you notice any of these signs of roof damage, call a professional roofing company to perform an inspection and make any necessary repairs or replacements. 

You should also clear your roof of any build-up that has accumulated. Debris and organic materials, such as sticks and leaves, can lead to a compromised roof structure. A compromised roof can lead to water pooling and eventual wood rot.

Your roof is made to have water run down the sides and into gutters and downspouts. This design helps reduce flood damage and keeps rainwater away from your foundation. If your gutters are filled with dirt and debris they are not able to do their job of directing water away from your home. This may cause water to run back toward your roof and allow water to enter your home. 

To clear your gutters, remove any leaves, branches, or other debris that has accumulated. Once you have removed all of the debris flush with a garden hose to remove any remaining pieces. 

TIP: Try to avoid cleaning directly after the rain. Allowing the debris to dry out will make the chore much easier! If you have a large gutter job, try looking for a local gutter cleaning service to assist you. 

Unkept doors and windows can also cause leaks in your home. Before the rain rolls in check for any gapping around your door and window frames. You can reseal any holes with caulk, then install weather stripping to help keep water from entering your home.

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, more than 60% of homeowners experience some degree of moisture in their crawl space or basement, making the need for a good and hardworking sump pump significant. Performing routine maintenance can help ensure your pump runs when you need it most during a rainstorm. 

Steps to maintain your sump pump include 

  • Test your sump pump for clogs and breakage by pouring water into it. After the pump is full, it should start to discharge. If not, you may need to repair or replace it. 
  • Confirm that the pump discharges water at least 20 feet away from the house. 
  • Ensure the drainage lines are not blocked with dirt, sand, or other debris. If the pump is not running smoothly remove the blockage so the water can travel freely into the sump pit.
  • Inspect the parts of your sump pump for wear and tear. Features like the float switch can wear down over time and should be replaced every few years. Worn parts can prevent the pump from doing its job of diverting water out of a flooding basement. 
  • Clean the screen at the sump pump base regularly. 
  • Examine the pump for corrosion to help prepare you for seasonal rainstorms. 

TIP: Installing a battery backup will assist your pump to work even during a power outage. 

Does your yard have a variety of outdoor furniture and appliances? Do your kids have a trampoline they love to play on?  Heavy wind and rains can cause significant storm damage by uplifting them or causing water damage. If you know a storm is approaching, move the appliances and furniture into the garage or shed. If that isn’t possible, tie the loose items down. 

Powerful winds can uproot trees right out of the ground. Loose branches can get blown off and hit your house causing damage to your siding and shattering your windows! You can prevent and/or decrease the severity of these problems by trimming trees and branches. For larger projects, consider hiring a local landscaping company to assist you in taking care of your yard.
Before you get started on this project, check with your local council about any guidelines or required consent applications. 

Heavy thunderstorms in the midwest bring tornado threats. Help keep your family safe by creating an emergency weather plan, and review before the inclement weather comes. One of the best ways to prepare is to collect emergency essentials in advance and store them in a waterproof container.
Some of the essentials include: 

  • Flashlights and batteries 
  • A gallon of water per person in the household 
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable items (and a can opener to open them) 
  • First aid kit
  • Any necessary medications

Tailor your emergency plan to meet your family’s specific needs. Stay informed about local emergency protocols.

Ensure you are adequately covered by understanding your home insurance policy. Call your insurance agent to help you understand your policy. Take photos of your furniture and other valuable items in case they become damaged by the storm. Keep any important documents such as the deed to your house, birth certificates, mortgage information, etc. in a fire-safe box.

Being proactive and taking preventive measures will safeguard the well-being of your family. Investing time and effort now can save you from the potential financial and emotional toll caused by severe storms. Encourage your friends and family to take preventive measures and create a network of resilient, prepared homes.

If your home has experienced storm damage, reach out to local contracting companies to perform an inspection and make any necessary repairs or replacements. 

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