Tips to Prepare Your Home for Storm Season

As the years progress, it seems as though thunderstorms are occurring more frequently with each year that passes. Actually, thunderstorms are beginning to evolve, and are actually coming at us more furiously, and faster. According to Stu Ostro with the Weather Channel, there is some evidence that thunderstorms are occurring more in the northern region compared to where they have typically been in the past.

As a nation, we aren’t in the midst of a severe weather apocalypse, but it is important that as a homeowner, you are prepared for these storms and are ready to take them on full force. You do not want to be the unlucky owner of a property that has been subjected to a flooded basement or any other home disaster. With that being said, if you believe your estate could be better prepared to withstand a summer storm, here are some things to consider before and after the storm hits.

First things first: Check your insurance policy. It is important that you do this before the storm hits. Homeowners should first check if they have an ACV or an RCV policy. The first policy is “Actual Cash Value”, and this means that your insurance company only pays for what your property was worth before the storm. This is not necessarily a good policy. An RCV is “Replacement Cost Value, and this means that your insurance pays current market value for the property loss.  Many homeowners don’t think they’ll need home insurance until they actually do need it. To state the obvious, if you know exactly what your policy is and what it covers, you will save loads of time in the event that your house is damaged due to storm or water.

Secondly, you should check your trees. Some trees may not show any visible signs of damage, but some may.  If your trees have solid leaf cover everywhere, then that means the tree is healthy and properly rooted in the ground. If you see that the branches are bare at the top, it could be an indication of a health problem. Is the land uneven around your trees, where you have a pivot on one side? That may also indicate a root problem that, in the wake of a storm, could cause the tree to fall over.  Another clue could be a lot of dead wood on the tree, or large hollows. If you think your tree is at risk, you should consider hiring an arborist. Many of them will come out and give you a consultation for free or low cost.

Next, check and clean your gutters. It is quite easy to forget about the gutters that came with your house, until you start having water issues that is. Even though you may not think about them, you should be aware of the problems that not cleaning them out can cause. Dirty gutters can ruin your roof or attic. Particularly, downspouts that have formed dams can cause water to back up into your sub-roofing and down the side of your home.  This can easily be done on your own, but if you are not comfortable climbing on the roof, then you can also hire a professional to do it for you.

Inspecting your basement is key before storm season. It is vital to have a battery backup system when you have a sump pump, and especially if you have a finished basement with valuable or sentimental personal items.

After the storm, it is important to call your insurance company to report the damage and take photos for the insurance adjuster.  If you are able to make any temporary repairs to your home, most insurers will tell you that’s fine, even if an adjuster hasn’t made their way to your property yet.

If your basement has flooded, you can call The Restoration Pros for any and all of your flooded basement needs!