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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Home Upgrades to Protect You From the Next Big Storm

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

Home Upgrades to Protect You From the Next Big Storm

You know how the old saying goes: It’s better to be safe than sorry. No matter where you live, there’s a decent chance that harsh weather will affect you at some point. It’s just the nature of, well, nature. 

It’s impossible to predict exactly when a storm is going to hit and how bad it’s going to be. Sure, meteorologists and doppler radars give it a good go; however, Mother Earth doesn’t always enjoy playing by the rules of others.

As water damage inspection specialists, we at SERVPRO of North Irving have dealt with a lot of nature’s handiwork. We’ve found that the best defense against a storm’s destruction is preparation. Below are some easy steps you can take to help ensure your home is ready to “battle” severe weather.

Stabilize Your Roof

It can be argued that in a wind situation, the roof is the most vulnerable part of a home. Obviously, one reason is that it’s generally the first structure to be hit with the elements. But, more importantly, strong winds can affect the air pressure in a way that causes a roof to be lifted from its support. If that wasn’t clear, we’ll say it in another way: Wind can rip your roof right off of your house. 

First and foremost, regular roof maintenance is key. Clean your downspouts and gutter guards. Also, check on your roof at least twice a year. Look for issues like moss, cracks, or damaged/missing shingles. Any problems should be addressed as soon as possible. If you notice evidence of water leaking into your attic (i.e. stains on sub roofing or moisture on attic walls), you should consider a water damage inspection.

When it comes to upgrading a roof for protection, a good strategy is to utilize roof to wall attachments. A simplified way of explaining this is it’s the process of attaching heavy-duty straps or clips from the roof of a house to its structure.

In addition, you may also want to employ a sealed roof deck. Basically, this is a layer of protective material that stays in place underneath your “main” roof. In the unfortunate situation of a roof being blown off of a structure, it helps prevent water and debris from getting into the home and causing undue harm.

Understand Your Insurance Coverage

We’ll admit this isn’t necessarily a home upgrade in the traditional sense. Adding a change, also known as a rider or endorsement, to a home insurance policy probably doesn’t make you feel like you have a newer house. However, it’s worth mentioning that it’s vital in protecting you against devastating renovation costs.

You can’t assume your policy is going to safeguard your home from any type of weather. Homeowners insurance policies vary in the kind of disaster events they cover and it’s up to you to purchase what’s right for your home and location. In general, a homeowners policy does not automatically cover hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods. If you’re not comfortable with reviewing your insurance documents to locate the specific coverage or exclusions, you can simply ask your insurance agent or underwriter about it. 

Also, while we’re on the subject of insurance, it’s recommended you should document your belongings (take pictures and note what each item is, where it is in the home, and any applicable model or serial numbers). When SERVPRO techs perform a fire and water damage inspection, they take photos and measurements of your possessions to assist in the claims process; however, you should still do your own home inventory before dealing with an emergency situation.

Seal Your Doors and Windows

If there’s any part of your home that’s exposed, wind and water are going to do their best to exploit it. Prior to a storm, it’s important to properly fortify your windows and doors. This includes a garage door and any skylights.

It’s not hard to find storm shutters and doors at your local home improvement store. If you’re a DIY-type person, you can make your own shutters with plywood (if it’s at least 3/4 inches thick) or corrugated metal. Also, you can place braces behind your garage door and doors.

Secure Outdoor Items

Yup, one of the best ways to protect what’s inside is to pay special attention to what’s outside. Strong winds can turn objects of any size into dangerous projectiles.

Try to keep all of your bushes and trees trimmed and neat. Clean up any debris so it’s not scattered about. If you have large furniture or equipment in your yard, consider using stakes and anchors. If it’s possible, bring all smaller items inside. This may be your garbage cans, lawn ornaments, plants, or any other object that can’t be securely anchored down.

Prepare An Emergency Kit

We’ve discussed the subject of preparing emergency kits before. While our advice was specifically about hurricane kits, the concept applies to any storm or natural disaster event. 

Here are some of the items you should keep in a basic emergency kit: 

  •     First-aid kit
  •     Garbage bags and ties
  •     At least three days of water (one gallon of water per person, per day) and non-perishable food
  •     Manual can opener
  •     Cell phone batteries and car charger
  •     Hand-crank or battery-operated radio
  •     Extra batteries
  •     Matches
  •     Soap, toilet paper, and wet wipes
  •     Emergency preparedness documents
  •     Whistle

Know That You’re Not Alone

Yes, we know this isn’t an upgrade or preventative measure but it still matters. An emergency situation can leave you feeling confused and defenseless. It can be overwhelming and keep you from taking steps that are immediately necessary. When you have the support of an expert cleanup and restoration company, you get back to your pre-storm life faster.

In the Dallas and Fort Worth area, the company of choice is SERVPRO of North Irving. We have a reputation for providing our customers with impeccable service and a keen sense of understanding. Not only do we provide 24-hour emergency disaster restoration services, but also we work with a customer’s insurance company to help speed up the claims process. Ultimately, we strive to take as much stress off of a storm victim’s shoulders as we can.

To speak with someone about fire and water damage inspection, cleanup, and repair, send us a message or give us a call at (972) 986-7677.

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