How to Prevent Storm Damage to Your Home This Fall
Autumn is a unique season, from the brilliant crimson and yellow splashes of foliage to the equally riveting orange pumpkins gracing the porches of homes dotted across the country. Although visually pleasing, autumn weather can unleash a tidal wave of storms that can be damaging to residential and business properties.
The transition from hot summer temps to the brisk, coolness of fall spurs a wave of thunderstorms and other drastic weather phenomenon. Although tornado season peaks in May, tornados from October through November should not be ruled out. Snowstorms occur even during the fall months. Rather than light and airy, snow tends to be wet and heavy during autumn. The excess weight of the snow can accumulate on tree branches, which may break onto the roofs of homes. Hurricane season peaks in June, but can continue through the end of hurricane season in late November. Properties situated on the Gulf and East Coasts should be on guard for possible late-season hurricanes through November 30.
Homeowners across the country are advised to prevent storm damage to their homes each autumn by taking preventative steps:
Prepare for Wind Damage
Wind is a fall phenomenon, helping shed the trees of its brilliant leaves. However, wind can cause severe destruction to a home. With careful preparation, a home can stay intact in the whirlwind of fierce autumn winds.
Install storm doors to prevent powerful winds from ripping off loose doors or windows. Garage doors should be reinforced to keep them secure and properly anchored (a professional can inspect the garage doors, if needed).
Clean the Gutter
When the autumnal thunderstorms strike, the homes’ gutter systems should be clear of debris to properly function. Rainstorms blow fallen leaves and twigs into the gutter, blocking the flow of water. The downspouts require a pathway free of debris in order for the water to drain away from the property and prevent moisture from seeping into the home’s siding or roof. Homeowners are responsible for regularly clearing out natural debris from the gutter to ensure the home does not sustain water damage.
Maintain the Roof
Fall brings with it a flurry of weather scenarios that directly impact the roof. Hail that beats down on the roof, powerful wind gusts that uplift loose shingles or the sheer weight of heavy snow or ice all cause significant detriment to the roofing structure of a home. In order for the roof to remain functional throughout the fall season, maintenance in the early fall months is necessary.
Trim overhanging tree branches during autumn. The weight of early snow and ice and severe thunderstorms can bring down tree branches. Tree limbs that grow close to the home, such as ones over a rooftop, driveway, patio, garage or other home structure can crash down in harsh weather, leaving the homeowner with costly home repairs. Dead tree branches should also be cut down to prevent wind and snow from hurling natural debris into the property. Hire a professional landscaping company for help with pruning trees and shrubs, if necessary.
Inspect the shingles for proper anchorage. Hire a professional roofing contractor in early fall to examine the shingles. A small investment in a roof inspection can save a homeowner from hefty bills in the event loose shingles expose the home’s interior to water damage.
A minor crevice along a window or door allows the beating rainwater from an autumnal storm inside. Examine the home’s windows and doors for evidence of gaps or existing yet ineffective weather-stripping. Install new weather-stripping to seal the windows and doors from wind gusts and whiplashing rain. While preventing drafts and water leaks, homeowners will also save on heating and energy costs.
Inspect the Chimney
People require sufficient shelter from a fall storm, but so do little critters, like mice and raccoons. Keep the pesky, wild animals from sabotaging the home and causing pricey interior damage by installing a chimney cap. In the process, conduct a chimney cleaning. A chimney sweep may be hired to perform the routine task.
Turn Off Outdoor Faucets
An unexpected, early autumn snowstorm can freeze the outdoor pipes, causing them to burst. Protect the outdoor pipes from freezing by shutting off the water to the faucets in the backyard long before the cool season starts. Also empty any outside hoses of excess water and store them inside the garage or shed.
Address Odds and Ends
Test the smoke detectors each month, ensuring new batteries are installed yearly. The furnace filter should be replaced before the heater switches on in winter. Also ensure the heater is in good working condition prior to the winter chills. Frayed wires are fire hazards and should be removed from the home.
Before the autumn storms have a chance to derail your home or business, take the steps to prevent the damage. In the event that catastrophic autumnal weather conditions or even minor weather-related events disrupt your household or commercial business, contact a reliable storm damage restoration company, such as ServiceMaster Professional Services.
Our technicians from ServiceMaster Professional Services arrive quickly onsite, understanding the urgency of the situation. Our specialists work quickly to assess the scene and take immediate steps to prevent the spread of water damage, boarding up the home if necessary and installing tarp along a damaged roof. We utilize advanced equipment to remove excess water from a water damaged property. All natural debris, like broken tree branches, and man-made materials, such as broken glass, siding and shingles, that result from a fall storm are also cleared away from the property.
Our ServiceMaster Professional Services specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to emergency calls. Homeowners and building managers can expect their property to be quickly returned to its pre-damaged state with the expertise provided by ServiceMaster Professional Services. Our qualified team dependably serves the Minneapolis and St. Cloud, MN, communities of residences and businesses.