While it might seem windy now, soon we’ll be dealing with stronger winds and heavier rainfalls. Wild weather can impact a home’s exterior, resulting in repairs that cost time and money. Cleaning out the gutters and inspecting the roof for loose or missing shingles is a good place to start. Here are some useful tips to help you protect your home from storm damage this winter.
Store Seasonal Items
Store items you won’t be using during the winter months such as lawn furniture, the barbecue and yard tools. If it can’t be stored away, secure anything residing on a patio, sun deck or backyard that might be thrown up against the siding by the wind. Wherever possible, take down swings, wind chimes, etc.
Clean Up the Yard
Rake the yard. Twigs and bits of debris can become projectiles, chipping glass, denting siding, etc.
In and after storms, trees can pose a threat by smashing windows, dropping branches onto power lines, and collapsing a roof. Inspect the trees on your property, especially the ones near the house. Look for dead branches, broken branches, and holes or cracks in the trunk. These are some common signs of a dying tree that might have to be removed in order to keep your home safe.
Trim back any branches close to the roof, gutters, and siding. Dispose of any limbs and cuttings or secure them so that they can’t be blown around.
If they can’t be sheltered by a shed, overhang or garage, secure garbage and recycling bins.
Check Windows and Doors
Loose panes make windows vulnerable. Seals and caulking around doors and windows should be in good condition to help keep water and cold air out and warm air in. Repairing windows and doors now will avoid winter storms making the damage worse.
Roof: Ensure that all roof protrusions and flashings are securely fastened. Check for missing and broken tiles. Repair as soon as possible to prevent moisture from getting in and creating problems such as leaks and mold.
Gutters: Clean the gutters. Gutters full of debris weigh them down, making them vulnerable to wind damage. Check that they are firmly fastened to the fascia.
Downspouts: Check the brackets; the downspout shouldn’t be able to move from side to side. Look for clogs and remove them.
Siding: Look for dents, scratches and worn or missing siding panels. Repair them if possible. During winter storms, damaged places on siding can be entry points for moisture.
Power companies do their best to get everyone back to normal, but often this takes time. If you don’t have one already, invest in a portable generator. It will ensure that any electronics will continue to work once the power’s gone out. You can also hook up essential appliances such as the refrigerator, freezer and any other piece of equipment that has a plug.