How To Keep Your Home And Family Safe From Natural Disasters
For most of us, our home is our castle, and protecting our home from damage is an essential part of keeping our families safe. Natural disasters are becoming more widespread the world over, and the prepared homeowner needs to view their home with a critical eye.
Depending on where you live in the country, your home could be at risk of damage from hurricanes, tornadoes, or tropical storms. Lloyd’s of London states that the U.S. experiences more tornadoes than any other country in the world. Not only that, you may encounter flooding if you live near a large body of water, wildfire threats, lightning strikes, damage caused by snow and ice, and even power outages that can fry your electrics.
Insurance Advisors of St. Louis shares some tips on how to prevent ruinous events from happening.
Damage From Nearby Trees And Shrubs
The first step to storm-proofing your home is to have a look at nearby trees or tall objects that are at risk of falling onto your property. OSHA states that there are 100 landscape and tree fall fatalities every year in the USA.
If you believe a tree could cause damage to your home, then you should call a professional tree removal service in your area. The average cost to have a tree removed is between $50 to $1,500, but the cost depends on the size of the tree and its proximity to your home. As with all professional companies, make sure to read online reviews and testimonials before reaching out to contractors. When asking for upfront estimates (get at least three), be sure to ask potential contractors about whether stump grinding and disposal are included in the quoted price.
Inspect Your Roof
Check for missing or damaged shingles as they can allow water to seep in, and make sure to check the flashing around vents, skylights, and chimneys. If your roof is constructed of trusses held in place by plywood sheathing, your roof may need strengthening with truss and gable end braces. The best solution is to find a roofing contractor to inspect your roof to see if bracing upgrades are necessary.
Windows And Doors
Storm shutters are the ideal solution for homes that experience a high frequency of hurricanes or tornadoes, but they are expensive. At the very least, you should ensure that your windows and doors are in good condition and that the caulk isn’t cracked or missing. Replace caulk and add a weatherproof seal to protect against water damage. Consider taping up windows when a heavy storm is coming. Head to Tool Review Lab for the tools and supplies you need to stormproof your home.
Keep Sandbags And Plastic On Hand
If your house is liable to flooding, consider building a permanent sandbank or moat between you and the water source. Keep sandbags and plastic on hand to block doorways and prevent water from seeping into your home.
Put Away Or Tie Down Loose Items
It may seem obvious but if a storm is on its way then ensure you secure smaller objects on your property, like deck furniture, umbrellas, and grills.
Ensure Your Pipes And Fireplace Are In Top Condition
Protect exterior or exposed pipes by wrapping them in insulation. Clean your fireplace. Over 353,000 home fires a year happen in the USA most caused by a build-up of creosote or animal nests in the chimney. Get a chimney sweep to clean your fireplace at least once a year.
Surge Protectors And Lightning Protection Systems
Statista.com states that there were 20 fatalities and 100 injuries from lightning in the U.S. in 2019, but the damage to homes and electrical items cost U.S insurance companies millions.
The best way to protect your home from lightning strikes is to install a lightning protection system that intercepts lightning and safely passes the current to the ground through a network of air terminals and ground electrodes. As an additional layer of protection for your expensive electrical items, buy surge protectors, which can be as simple as a plug affixed to your power socket, to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes.
Update Your Insurance Policy
To ensure you have enough financial protection in the event of a disaster, be sure to regularly revisit your homeowner’s insurance policy. Your Insurance Advisors of St. Louis agent will be able to help you determine if you need to adjust your coverage.
Protecting your home against natural disasters is a prudent investment. Consider it less as a home renovation and more as a guarantee of safety for your family.