Preparing for the Unpredictable
The severity and frequency of severe weather is difficult to predict. What we do know: we will have some bad storms, and in many cases, they can result in property damage. This may involve roof and siding damage, downed trees, power outages and surges, lightning strikes, flooding, and the risk of fire.
To protect your property:
- Start with a walk around your property. In the spring, take some time to go outside and check for issues that need to be repaired or resolved in advance of extreme weather. For example, identify what items can become dangerous projectiles in a storm (e.g. patio furniture, tools, flower pots, etc.). Make sure you have a safe place to store them, like the garage or mudroom, when you hear a weather forecast predicting a storm.
You will also want to check for missing or damaged shingles, loose siding, overgrown trees, and other dangers. More on these next.
- Replace missing/damaged shingles. During your walk-around, did you notice any loose, missing, or damaged shingles? Now is the time to get those fixed. Damaged shingles are more likely to break free under windy conditions, and missing shingles leave you exposed for water damage in storms.
- Repair loose siding. As with your roof, loose siding leaves you at risk for extensive damage to both your home’s exterior and interior during spring storms. Make sure everything is tight and “nailed down,” so to speak. If not, you can DIY vinyl siding repair or call in a pro to help.
- Clean your gutters. Your gutters should be free of any blockages and build-up of leaves and debris. They need to be able to divert water down from your roof and away from your foundation. Water damage is no joke: it can lead to extensive issues, including rotting, mold, mildew, and weakening of the structure.
Along the same lines, it is important to ensure water can flow freely away from your home and into a ditch, drain, culvert, or retention area. If your land is not graded properly, consider hiring a grading service to do this for you.
- Check your sump pump. Sump pumps remove water that has accumulated in a basin, and they are commonly found in our North Carolina basements. Check to see if your pump is working correctly. You can do this by:
- Unplugging both of the plugs for your pump. You should have one for the float switch and one for the motor. Unplug both, and then plug in the motor. If it turns on immediately, plug in the float switch, and you’re good to go. If not, you should have it serviced.
- Running water through it. Fill the pit with enough water to raise the float. The pump should kick on and lower the water level.
- Trim your trees. Tree limbs can cause a lot of damage to your roof, siding, windows, outdoor furniture, and vehicle. Make sure they are properly trimmed.
- Have a backup generator. It’s never a bad idea to be prepared for a power outage. In some areas, they can extend for days. A generator can help you preserve food, keep warm (or cool), operate essential equipment, and improve overall liveability.
- Install lightning protection. Rods that are attached to the roof of your home divert the lightning flow through a cable and into a pole in the ground. They do not prevent lightning strikes - but they do is prevent fires.
Be sure to also install surge protectors to keep your big (pricey) appliances from becoming damaged in a storm. It’s best to unplug these items (e.g. computers, TVs, etc.) in advance of a storm. Power surges can be destructive to our electronics and appliances.
- Make sure you have fire alarms and smoke detectors with 24/7 monitoring. Lightning strikes are one of the most common causes of house fires. Protect your home - even when you are away - with a fire detection system that includes 24/7/365 monitoring.
Are you ready for spring storms and power outages? We believe it’s best to hope for the best - and plan for everything else. Completing these storm prep to-do list items can help you achieve greater safety and peace of mind.
For systems that include fire/smoke detection and 24/7/365 monitoring, contact Integrity Security. We can’t prevent spring from dishing up some severe weather, but we can help you protect your home and family - all year round. Get in touch today, and rest easier tomorrow.