Summer is approaching, and with it, the severe summer thunderstorms Texas is famous for. Thunderstorms on their own are nothing new and not really cause for alarm. However, late spring and early summer tends to be peak season for tornadoes in the south. Even severe storms that don’t produce tornadoes can damage your house. Are you ready for the upcoming summer storms?
Weather forecasts can tell you when a storm will likely arrive and the speed of its winds, but they can’t accurately predict what severe weather could do to your home. Consequently, it’s always an excellent plan to stay prepared for severe weather throughout the entire summer season. Here’s how to get ready.
First things first: is your roof leaking? Are there any weak spots that a thunderstorm might damage even further? Go outside and look for missing or broken shingles, then inspect the roof interior for dark or damp spots that indicate a leak. A leaky roof is the last thing you need in a severe thunderstorm! Schedule an emergency roof repair or cover the leaks temporarily until you can get a professional to patch up the roof.
As the saying goes, hope for the best, plan for the worst. If you’re stuck in your house with flooded streets and no electricity, would you be able to hold out for a while? Make sure you can! Stock up on shelf-stable food, bottled water, basic hygiene supplies, medicine, and more to build an emergency kit for yourself and your family. (Find a more comprehensive list of emergency supplies here.) Determine what your family needs and how much of it to stay safe in your house for a while if necessary.
Most summer storms are ultimately harmless, causing minimal damage to your home or neighborhood. However, dangerous weather like hurricanes can be truly devastating. Don’t risk it if your home is in the path of a hurricane or tornado. As long as it’s safe to travel, evacuate while you can. Plan ahead on how you’ll leave, when you’ll evacuate, what you’ll take along, where you’ll go, and more with your family ahead of time. Don’t be caught off guard with severe weather.
Pro Tip: Before you evacuate to escape a severe storm, unplug your home’s electricity, water, and gas lines. Any of these rupturing during a storm can cause further damage.
Weathering the Storm
Most summer thunderstorms won’t cause significant damage to your home. Likewise, it’s unlikely you’ll have to evacuate unless a hurricane or tornado forms. But even a mild thunderstorm could temporarily knock out your power or flood the streets enough to make driving unsafe. It’s always an excellent idea to be prepared for anything during the stormy summer season.
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The weather alerts are scrolling across your phone and people are scrambling to the grocery store to stock up on food. It’s important to know how to prepare your home for severe weather to prevent unnecessary damage. When the storm hits, are you and your family going to be ready?
Your Storm Preparation Checklist
According to a recent survey from an insurance company, 75% of homeowners don’t prepare their homes for incoming storms. Unfortunately, neglecting the maintenance of your home can result in costly damages and unnecessary repairs. If severe weather is headed your way, be sure to keep this storm preparation checklist close at hand.
- Maintain your roof
- Trim your trees
- Move outdoor furniture inside
- Clean your gutters
- Assemble an emergency kit
1) Maintain your roof
Have you checked your roof for leaks? Are there any shingles missing? The roof of your home is one of the most protective features of your home. If a natural disaster or heavy rainstorm is headed your way, inspect your roof for any damages or weak points.
2) Trim your trees
When a storm is headed your way, don’t forget to look up. Heavy rain and wind can break tree limbs and send falling debris to your home. In the days leading up to the storm, trim your trees and remove any dead plants from the yard.
Pro Tip: Unfortunately, dead trees or plants can cause just as much harm since they’re more susceptible to being pulled out by their roots and damaging your lawn
3) Move outdoor furniture inside
Between the chance of hailstorms or strong wind, your belongings outside of your home will undoubtedly be affected. Be sure to move all outdoor furniture, playground toys, and loose equipment inside your garage or shed. It might require a little effort to move everything, but the members of your family will be thankful their personal items are kept safe.
4) Clean your gutters
The gutter system on your home was designed to minimize flooding and to protect your roof. However, if it’s clogged with falling leaves and branches, it will hardly have a chance to work correctly. To protect your home, clean your gutters and double-check that rainwater will be able to flow freely.
5) Assemble an emergency kit
If the electricity was turned off and the roads were closed, would your family be prepared to stay in your home? No matter how severe the storm is, it’s important to have a basic emergency kit to ensure the safety of both your home and family. In addition to an emergency supply of food, we recommend gathering a flashlight, batteries, candles, and any other items that will help in the time of a power outage.
Stay Alert and Plan Ahead
If you know a storm is headed your way, it’s a good idea to make sure you and your family will be safe in your home. It’s important to heed warnings and severe weather alerts from your local meteorologist. If you’re asked to evacuate or take shelter outside of your home, preparing your house ahead of time will help prevent damages or future repairs.
Do you need to get your house ready for an incoming storm? Connect with one of our technicians to schedule a service appointment!
Once a hurricane has passed over your house, there’s almost certainly going to be some damage to deal with. Even a brand-new roof might have a few shingles missing here and there. However, not all hurricane damage is easily visible. Following a hurricane or severe weather, you should always inspect your roof yourself for any less obvious signs of damage.
Hurricane Roof Damage
Storm damage caused by a hurricane can leave some nasty marks on your house. However, don’t assume you got lucky if your house appears relatively untouched. A hurricane’s high winds and pounding rain can cause structural damage to your roof even if not one shingle is out of place. Here’s what to look for after a hurricane:
- Roof leaks
- Clogged gutters or downspouts
- Missing shingles
1) Roof Leaks
A hurricane can puncture holes in your roof from flying debris or cause damage to your home’s structural integrity. Even missing shingles can allow rain into your house. Since leaks may not be visible from the outside, begin by inspecting the inside of your roof. Are there any obvious holes or damages? Can you see any dark spots, indicating moisture is spreading?
Pro Tip: If you discover a leak on the inside of your roof, you can temporarily patch it with a tarp or other waterproof material until a professional can repair it.
2) Clogged Gutters or Downspouts
As you inspect your roof after a storm, don’t forget to check your gutters and downspouts as well. If you haven’t installed gutter guards or they’ve been damaged, you might find yourself dealing with pools of water on your roof that can cause collapses and expensive damage. Clean leaves or twigs out of your gutters to allow water to flow off freely and prevent this from happening.
3) Missing Shingles
Arguably the most common type of hurricane damage, missing tiles can lead to all sorts of problems with your roof. The most common issue, however, is leaking. A missing tile leaves a hole in your roof’s waterproof cover and can allow the rain inside. Your best bet to keep this damage in check is to temporarily install some extra shingles or other waterproof material on the outside of your roof to prevent further damage from occurring while you wait for repairs.
Protect Your Woodlands Home
Before the hurricane arrives, take as many preventive measures as you can to make sure your home stays protected from the high wind and rain that severe weather brings. If the hurricane passes and your home sustains some damage, the best thing you can do is arrange for repairs as quickly as possible. The faster you get the damages fixed, the less time things have to get worse and the sooner you can return to living in an undamaged house.
Connect with us for more tips on preparing for a hurricane.
Hurricane season isn’t over until the end of November. As the National Weather Service tracks storms and keeps everyone updated, make sure that you and your family are ready to wait out any severe weather. If you decide not to evacuate or can’t evacuate, these emergency supplies may be all you have to go on for a while.
While you should always maintain a kit of emergency supplies, it’s particularly important to double-check that kit this time of year and replace items as necessary. Don’t let yourself get caught by surprise with an expired kit. Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need and a plan for staying safe this hurricane season.
Food and Drink
Your disaster kit should contain a three-day supply of nonperishable food for each person in your home. Make sure it’s easy to open and prepare as well–for instance, opt for pull-tab tops on canned foods so you don’t have to worry about a can opener. Along with the food, make sure each family member has a three-day supply of clean water with at least one gallon per person per day set aside. Don’t substitute the water for other drinks like fruit juice or soda. While these drinks may taste better sometimes and last a while, because of their less beneficial nutritional content and the potential to increase thirst through high sugar content, they should be saved as a last resort.
Of course, there are plenty of non-edible supplies you should include in your emergency kit. These include:
- 7-day supply of any prescription medicine your family needs
- Sanitary wipes
- First aid kit
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Extra cash
- Copies of personal records: passports, proof of address, medical papers, etc.
- Family members’ contact info
- A full tank of gas
- Hand-crank or battery-powered radio to monitor the weather
- Extra batteries
- Extra sets of keys for your house and car
- Cell phones and extra chargers and/or battery packs
- Spare clothes
- Baby supplies: diapers, wipes, formula, etc.
- Pet supplies: food, carrier, leash, etc.
Pro Tip: Take before and after photos of your house to document any damage that may occur. Your insurance will appreciate it.
Before the Storm Hits
Keep your gas tank full and go down the checklist to see what supplies you may need. Keep an eye on the weather in the meantime. Prepare your home for severe weather by covering the windows, moving valuables inside, and any other steps you deem necessary. Most importantly, make sure your family knows the evacuation plan if it comes to that. Protect what’s really valuable.
Be Ready for Anything
Even the most advanced weather equipment is occasionally wrong. Sometimes, a hurricane projected to die at sea causes severe damage on land. We can never be completely sure what the weather might bring. The best we can do is make sure we’re ready to weather the storm.
Join the conversation for more ideas for your hurricane preparedness checklist.
As summer draws to a close, plenty of homeowners are looking forward to not dealing with severe summer thunderstorms as frequently. However, Houston isn’t completely out of the woods yet. Even if heavy rains later in the year don’t quite measure up to a summer downpour, you may still find yourself dealing with severe weather a little longer.
Preparing Your Home
Aside from the basics of gathering emergency supplies for yourself and your family, make sure to get your home ready for the abuse a severe thunderstorm is sure to dish out. Even if you’re confident your home can take it, it never hurts to be prepared. Use this checklist to inspect your house and protect vulnerable spots:
- Check your roof, outside and inside
- Clear your gutters
- Protect valuable outdoor items
- Check your windows and doors
1) Check Your Roof, Outside and Inside
If you don’t have time to get a free expert inspection, take a few minutes to examine your roof yourself. Any signs of a leak on the inside or outside of your roof should be covered immediately with a tarp and repaired as soon as the rain stops. Don’t let your home or belongings be damaged even by the possibility of a leak.
2) Clear Your Gutters
Gutters notoriously fill with leaves, twigs, and other debris over time, making it difficult for them to effectively drain your roof. For a long-term solution, considering installing gutter guards to prevent clogging. If you don’t have gutter guards yet, quickly check to ensure the gutters are clear and clean them out before the storm hits.
Pro Tip: If rainwater can’t drain properly off your roof, it weighs down in puddles and can cause leaks or collapsing. That’s why it’s so important to keep your gutters clean.
3) Protect Valuable Outdoor Items
Most homeowners have a few belongings they keep outside, such as grills, bicycles, or outdoor furniture. However, even water-resistant items will sustain some damage in a severe downpour. Bring everything inside before the storm hits to keep your outdoor valuables safe.
4) Check Your Windows and Doors
Finally, remember that your roof isn’t the only part of your house that can leak. Make sure the seals around your windows and doors are still secure and doing their job. If you find a leak, cover it temporarily with a waterproof protector until you can repair it later.
Protecting Your Conroe Home
In areas prone to severe weather and heavy rain, houses are built to endure the storms. However, every house has its flaws, especially as time passes and the original construction loses some of its strength. The best thing you can do as you prepare for heavy rain is to take a few extra steps to protect your home from severe damage through periodic inspections and maintenance.
Connect with us to learn more about preparing your home for the last bit of severe summer weather.