How to Keep Your Home Safe From Weather Damage
As a homeowner, your house is one of your biggest investments — and you want to keep it safe. Sometimes, the number of things that can cause damage to your home might feel overwhelming. This is especially true with weather-related issues that you have no control over. To make matters worse, damage from rain, wind, or hail can cost between $2,269 and $13,623 to repair. Luckily, being aware of potential issues is one of the first steps to preventing them. Here are four common weather problems you might run into and how to deal with them.
Did you know that your home may be up to 10 times more likely to experience flooding rather than fire? Flooding is often unexpected and can be caused by a number of factors, including snowmelt, storm surges, and levee failures. While floods may be unexpected, there are ways you can prepare for them to lessen the chances of damage if your home is at risk.
To minimize risk to your appliances — such as your hot water heater or washer — ensure that they are installed above your area’s base flood elevation. Make sure to have a store of sandbags available so that you can divert water away from your house’s foundation if need be. Additionally, make sure that you and all your family members know how to shut off your utilities to prevent fires or electrocution in the case of flooding.
Depending on where your home is located, it may be prone to lightning strikes. However, while some areas have more electrical storms than others, lightning strikes can occur anywhere. In fact, lightning makes contact with the ground approximately 20 million times each year and can cause damage to both your home and your electronics.
To lessen the damage caused if lightning does strike your home, you can install a lightning protection system. These systems are made up of a series of cables, lightning rods, and grounding rods. Contrary to popular belief, lightning rods do not attract lightning to your home; they simply help to conduct the electricity safely into the ground.
In heavy snow areas such as the mountains and eastern Oregon, severe ice and snowstorms can cause burst pipes, water damage, and broken gutters. While icicles may be pretty, they can actually damage your roof or gutters and cause injuries to people walking below them. To protect your home, make sure to get your gutters inspected before winter sets in — clean them completely so that there is no buildup of leaves or debris. This significantly lessens your chances of snow or ice damage to your home. If you experience particularly bad winters, you might even consider installing a heating system within your gutters. This will prevent icicles and ice dams from forming, and ensure that your drainage system continues to work the way it should throughout the entire winter.
Wind, Rain, or Hail
While these may seem like relatively minor weather problems, rain, wind, and hail can cause significant and lasting damage to your home. In fact, hail caused approximately $722 million in property damages during 2018. Rain can also cause water damage, an issue that 14,000 people in the United States deal with every single day. Water damage, when not immediately handled, can cause mold and weaken the structure of your home.
Keeping your gutters clean and ensuring you have healthy trees in case of wind can prevent damages to a degree. However, the best way to keep your home safe from these events is to ensure that you rapidly deal with any damage that occurs. Preventing damage where you can, and rapidly dealing with damage that couldn’t be prevented, ensures that your home will remain in great condition for years to come.
Most property owners due not fully understand what their homeowners (fire) insurance covers. If your neighbors’ tree falls on your house, who pays? Not all water damage is covered, it depends on the source of the water. If you live in an area where some of the above is a real possibility, meet with your insurance agent to be sure you have the coverage you need.
Guest post by Natalie Jones @ Homeownerbliss.info