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When storms arise in your area, they bring an increased risk of damage to your home. To keep your house safe, it’s important to protect it against heavy rains, high winds, and other storm conditions. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to guard against this type of damage. Use these tips for storm-proofing your home if you live in an area that’s prone to severe weather.
Reinforce Your Windows and Doors
When it comes to your home’s exterior, windows and doors can present weak spots that are more likely to experience damage during a storm. Installing impact-rated windows and doors is a great way to protect your house without needing to board them up. Where you live will indicate how strong your windows need to be, so be sure to look up what the recommended pressure rating is for your area. Standard windows can withstand about 30 to 35 pounds of pressure per square foot, but you may need stronger windows if you live near the coast.
Another option is installing hurricane shutters to your home’s windows. For doors, you can install steel storm doors or use a reinforcing kit to create added strength at the top and bottom of each door. Don’t forget about your garage doors, which can buckle in high-wind conditions. Use an aluminum vertical bracing system to make the door more resistant to wind damage.
Remove Outdoor Hazards
Do a sweep of the area immediately surrounding your home to check for objects that could potentially cause damage to your home. Items like trash cans, potted plants, garden statues, and patio furniture can become airborne in a severe storm. If your trees have dead branches that might easily snap off, make sure to remove them before the storm hits. Is your house siding secure? Research the best type of house siding for your situation.
While you look around outside for possible projectiles, consider potential drainage issues as well. Make sure storm drains are clear of debris. Clean out your gutters and downspouts so that water can drain from the roof effectively.
Protect Your HVAC System
Secure external HVAC equipment with a protective cage, metal tie-downs, or hurricane straps. If you are in an area with a high risk of flooding, consider placing your HVAC equipment on an elevated platform.
A strong storm is likely to knock out the power, so it’s a good idea to turn off your electrical system at the breaker box just before a storm hits. Unplug other appliances and
devices as well to protect against a power surge. If you expect the power to go out for an extended period of time, consider investing in a generator.
Before you turn your external HVAC unit back on after the storm, make sure to inspect it for any damage. If there are major defects or if the unit makes any strange noises once you turn it back on, be sure to schedule an HVAC maintenance visit.
Keeping your family safe during severe weather starts with protecting your home. Follow these steps to address any issues before a storm hits.