It’s hard to believe spring will be here in just a few short weeks! Although the mornings and evenings are still chilly, the days are getting warmer, which means some nasty storms will be stirring up soon. Falling in “Tornado Alley,” North Texas often experiences nature’s wrath throughout the spring and summer months with tornadoes, hail, flash floods, and damaging winds.
Although there is no way to control the weather, here are some precautionary steps you can take to prepare your home to endure Mother Nature’s fury:
1. Identify any existing roof or siding problems. Inspect your roof for missing shingles and possible leaks and make any necessary repairs. Loose siding should also be replaced, as it can rip off easily in heavy winds. Leaving these issues unaddressed throughout the warm, wet season is a risk that could result in much bigger problems!
2. Clean the gutters. Remove winter’s debris that has collected in your gutters, drains, and downspouts so that heavy rains can flow freely off the roof. Be sure that downspouts are secured, and that water is draining properly away from your home and not toward your foundation. We often get calls this time of year about water pooling during heavy storms, creating flooding and drainage issues. These are big concerns, as water damage can lead to serious issues, like mold growth.
3. Secure your belongings. Secure patio furniture and other yard items or put them in storage during storms so they don’t become dangerous projectiles. You’d be surprised at how easily strong winds can pick up and toss around bulky items!
4. Make a plan for pets. This should hopefully be a no-brainer, but if you have outdoor pets, make preparations to bring them inside during bad weather! It’s helpful to have a kennel set up or a designated room for pets planned ahead of time. Just as you wouldn’t want to be outside during a storm, your pets don’t either!
5. Trim greenery. Prune gangly limbs, shrubbery, and branches so they don’t snap off in a windstorm and land on your home or on a power line. Gusty winds can break off large tree branches resulting in damage to your roof, windows, siding, garage door, or your car. Keeping your landscaping maintained could prevent a lot of damage and repair expense.
6. Take cover. In extremely severe weather, take advantage of storm doors and shutters if your home has them. If your home doesn’t already have them, it might be worth it to get them installed. Keeping blinds and shades pulled and tacking window coverings around the edges can help protect you from broken glass or flying debris if tornadoes or straight-line winds are a concern. It’s always best to stay away from windows and doors during a storm, so plan on securing your windows and then keeping your family and pets in an interior room with no windows throughout the duration of the storm.
7. Prepare an emergency kit. Keep a kit stocked with a flashlight, batteries, a storm radio, first aid supplies, bottled water, nonperishable foods, and any prescriptions or specialty medications. It’s also a good idea to store an extra pair of glasses, shoes, blankets or sleeping bags, and important documentation in a safe, accessible place.
8. Consider having a storm shelter installed. One of the best investments you can make to protect your family during bad weather is to have a storm shelter installed. Even if your home has a central room with no windows, strong winds can easily knock down walls. An underground shelter provides the most safety in such a dangerous situation — in which case, it’s better to be safe than to be unprepared!
Here is an underground tornado shelter we installed in a client’s garage floor:
If you need assistance preparing your home for spring and summer storms, whether it’s installing storm doors, cleaning out your gutters, or repairing faulty siding, Mike’s Guys would be happy to help!
Contact us for more information!