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Like it or not, the weather has been getting increasingly severe over the past decade or so, with hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and floods occurring with alarming regularity. Depending on where you are in the country, it’s likely that you will have one or two major issues to contend with, so it’s vital to have thorough plans in place to ensure that you keep your family safe.
One of the biggest considerations you should have is the structural capability of your home – and in today’s guide, we’re going to take a look at a few of your options. Read on to find out how to protect the biggest investment you will ever make from the ever-changing weather conditions.
OK, so let’s start off with the absolute basics of protecting your home. The first step is to ensure that in the event of a bout of nasty weather, you have the right insurance coverage. Read that small print carefully, as some insurance plans won’t protect you against so-called acts of God – such as a dangerous weather event. Ultimately, though, while insurance will help you cover repair costs, the reality is that it is always best to protect the house against natural threats.
As we approach the spring, the chances are that you might forget how hot the weather can get during the summer. And if you are living in an area that typically has heat waves during the hot months of the year, there are plenty of things to watch out for. It’s vital to remember that extreme heat can have a big impact on your roof shingles – the extreme temperature can dry them out, crack them, and even curl them. Clearly, this is going to have an impact on the integrity of your roof, and you need to prepare in advance with the right kind of protection. Also, bear in mind that during high heat periods, you will be pushing your aircon system to the max, which could result in a breakdown – and a lot of extra spending on energy. So, here’s what you need to do.
First of all, make sure your home is properly insulated. Yes, insulation is normally thought of as a tool for keeping heat in – but it also keeps excessive heat out, and traps the cool air produced by your HVAC system. Secondly, try caulking up your doors and windows – again, it keeps the cool air trapped and helps your aircon regulate the temperature better. Next, think about weather stripping your home’s doors and windows, and you might even benefit from getting some help with shake siding to protect your exterior walls. Finally, don’t forget about your roof, which will be exposed to the sun’s rays day in and day out. Consider retrofitting the roof with heat reflective material, or investigate the possibility of installing a cool roof.’
Heavy rain, flooding, and wind
When the weather turns bad, your home is just as exposed to problems as it is in the summer – if not more so. And it doesn’t even have to be a newsworthy event, such as a huge flood. Even a few inches of rainfall in the space of a few hours can result in major home damage and flooding. And we all understand the dangers of hurricanes.
To prevent as much damage as possible, you’ll need to do a few things. First of all, get into the habit of clearing out your gutters every once in a while – ideally twice a year. It will ensure that your drains are clear, and you can also use the task of checking the integrity of your gutters and spout extensions – seal them up if they are cracked. Once you are done with the drains, take a look for cracks and sealant gaps around your doors and windows. No matter how small, these gaps are often the biggest causes of damp problems coming into the home. If you live in a storm warning area, make sure you get some storm windows – they will do a great job of protecting against heavy rainfall, heavy winds, and flooding. Finally, to prevent water from coming into your house in bad weather, get out in the garden and grade your land so that it slopes down away from the building. It’s the best way of preventing wet basements and crawl spaces.
Getting back the hot weather, your home is also at risk during periods of drought – and we aren’t just talking about your lawn. In fact, a bad drought can dry out all the earth surrounding your foundations, and result in unevenness and movement, so it’s a huge issue. But what, exactly, can you do?
Well, saving water is essential. Every home in a drought area should have a couple of rain barrels at least – to collect rainwater through the wetter parts of the year. Take care of your water supply, too, by making regular checks for dripping faucets or potential leaks. And if you really want to protect your home, consider investing in some rain or moisture sensors that can override your automatic watering system. This will ensure that your land is getting the water it needs, any time it needs it. And finally, please check your foundations after any prolonged period of drought. If it shifts – and it’s more common than you might think – it can have a serious impact on the integrity and structure of your home.
Ice and snow
Obviously, extreme cold can have a big impact on your home. And even if your house is safe from the harsh winter weather, you can still expect a huge strain on your heating system. Freezing pipes, warped woodwork, and a lot of other issues can occur, that could result in serious consequences.
The good news is that if you have readied your home for extreme heat, you already have the basis of good protection for the winter. Insulation plays an important role, of course, as does caulking the gaps in your doors and windows. Storm windows and storm doors are an essential purchase for protecting your house, and it’s important to insulate your pipes from the cold to ensure they don’t freeze or burst.