Nobody wants to open the door after a big storm and find that the exterior of their home has been damaged. Storms are damaging with their high winds, rain, and sometimes hail, but you are not helpless in this situation. Follow these tips to prepare your home and help minimize the amount of damage it suffers the next time a big storm rolls in.
Secure the gutters.
Gutters that are loose may be blown off the home. They may bang into a window or your siding as they are blown away, causing damage. Plus, with the gutters gone, your home will be prone to damage from rain. It will sit on the roof, leading to moisture damage and perhaps some leaks -- not immediately, but in time.
Take some time to jiggle each gutter, and see if it moves. If the gutters wiggle, tighten the straps that hold them in place. Usually, all this requires is turning and tightening a screw. If the straps are loose or too large to tighten properly, you might need to have them replaced.
Clear the gutters.
While you are adjusting the gutters, also make sure they are free of debris. Leaves and twigs caught in the gutters can absorb water and become heavy during a storm, increasing the chances of a gutter dislodging itself from your roof due to its weight. Wet leaves can also start blocking the downspouts, causing water to build up in the gutter and, as referenced above, cause them to collapse off the roof.
Secure loose shingles.
Any shingles that are loose may blow off in the storm, which could result in a lot of water damage in your attic and in the top floors of your home. However, loose shingles may also take other shingles -- and even flashing -- with them as they are blown off the roof surface.
If you feel comfortable climbing up on your roof, try pulling up each of the shingles. If you find any that are loose, pound a few roofing nails into them to secure them. Then -- and this part is very important -- place a glob of roofing cement or tar over the head of the nail. This prevents water from leaking in around the nail when it rains.
If you have more than a couple of loose shingles on your home, or if the flashing also appears to be damaged, consider having a roofing contractor take a look. You may be due for a new roof, which will go a long way toward keeping your home safer!
Trim your trees.
Loose tree limbs are a huge risk for homeowners. They can blow through windows or bang into the side of your home, chipping your siding. Cut off any tree branches that are dead or dying or that appear to be too heavy or cracking away from the tree trunk. Consider hiring a tree care expert to come to trim the trees once a year -- preferably in the early spring -- so you're not left worrying about the tree's condition before each storm.
Secure your railings.
If you have any railings on your porch or deck, wiggle them and make sure they are tight. If not, tighten the bolts or screws that hold the railings to the floor or ground. Railings can get blown look in a storm, taking big chunks of your decking with them.
With the tips above, you will reduce the chances of serious post-storm home damage. Remember, also, that dealing with minor storm damage as soon as possible is wise, since the next storm will only make things worse. Get in touch with a company such as Select Exteriors for more information.