Harsh weather conditions can occur anywhere and anytime, with or without warning. Protecting you home and personal well-being in harsh weather requires an attitude of expecting the worst and hoping for the best. In really severe weather, it is probably best to secure your home and move to a sturdier structure or leave the area completely, if advance notice is possible. Unfortunately, storms occur in the middle of the night that were not forecast accurately, so it is important that your home be protected from severe weather at all times.
Begin by never leaving small, light weight objects like small limbs or decorative items about your property. During a storm with strong winds, these object become projectiles, and can not only harm your home but cause injury to people as well. Secure trash cans and lawn furniture, hanging porch plants, children’s toys or any other item that can become airborne. Move cars inside of a garage if possible, if not, move them as close to a shelter to break the wind as possible.
Protect your home from harsh weather conditions by ensuring trees and shrubs are always well maintained. At least twice annually, check to make certain there are no tree branches overhanging or close to your home. In a wind or ice storm, these can sag or break off and seriously damage roofs and gutters. With shrubs, maintain a two to three foot buffer zone between the plant and the house. This simple measure can prevent siding from being scratched or dented in harsh weather.
The roof of the home is where most damage from harsh weather conditions will occur. Get on your roof a few times a year to check for loose or damaged shingles and if you find any, repair them immediately. It is much easier to perform preventative maintenance than to discover the problem in the middle of a storm. Clean roof gutters at least two or three times a year. Clogged gutters prevent the removal of rain water from the roof. As a result they overflow and can create quite a mess at the base of your home, including basement water damage. Water that freezes in gutters can add excessive weight that can literally pull the gutters from the home, or back up under the roof shingles causing damage or leaks.
Protecting the home from harsh weather conditions is really all about preventative maintenance, and applying a keen eye for potential hazards. With a little forethought and effort on your part, the big problems headed your way in harsh weather will find another host.