When you own a home, it’s likely your biggest investment. To protect it, you have to get ahead of issues that can cause it harm. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid your home’s biggest adversary: Mother Nature. What you can do, however, is take steps to reduce weather-related damage so that your home (as well as your wallet) is protected. Here are a few common weather scenarios and what you can do to get ahead of a bad situation.
Flooding occurs when more rain falls from the sky than the ground around your home can handle. While there is very little you can do to protect your home in the wake of a catastrophic flood, you can make a few minor modifications to reduce flood damage from your run-of-the-mill rainstorm. First, install appropriately sized gutters and downspouts. Extreme How-To explains that this channels water away from your house. Next, look at the landscaping around the perimeter of your property. If the terrain slopes toward your house, you may have a problem. Spend a weekend or two grading a slope away from your house. This will involve lots of dirt, hours of manual labor, and a basic understanding of how to compact the soil so that it does not simply wash away the next time clouds appear.
High winds are a problem that can sneak up when you least expect it. In addition to blowing your lawn furniture around, anything more than a gentle breeze can knock branches from the trees. This, in turn, can damage your roof and leave you with the gaping hole in your ceiling. The simplest and least expensive fix for this is to have any high trees regularly trimmed. Because this involves climbing, it’s best to spend the $75 (or up to $1,000 depending on the size of the tree) to have this done professionally. While there’s no problem with trimming trees that you can reach from the ground, if you have larger trees, the last thing you want is to be climbing around with a chainsaw and zero experience.
When you think about weather damage, you probably think wind and rain, and that’s understandable because storms are a significant threat. What you may not have considered, though, is that even sunny days can take a toll on your home, including the interior. UV damage can ruin your carpet by making it discolored. Cleaning will not help in this situation. Your deck is another area that is susceptible to the wrath of the sun. To keep your wood from drying and splintering, make sure that it is properly protected with a dark-pigmented deck stain. DeckStainHelp.com explains that the darker the pigment, the more UV protection you’ll enjoy.
Lightning also poses a significant threat to many homes, particularly those that do not utilize a lightning protection system, which should include a lightning rod and surge protectors. If you are expecting an electrical storm, plan to unplug your major appliances. Even if your home experience is a power surge because of lightning, by simply unplugging your refrigerator and other systems, you can save yourself from having to buy these items over again.
If you’re thinking that your homeowners insurance will cover any kind of damage nature can dole out, you may be wrong. According to Allstate, flood and earthquake damage is not typically included in your basic policy. Most homeowner insurance does cover lightning strikes, fallen trees, and some water damage. Still, you will be on the hook for your deductible, which can be $1,000 or more, for each incident. It is much wiser and less costly to practice prevention than to have to pull from your savings each time the weather gets wonky.
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