Weather can be unpredictable. One minute, you’re sunbathing in the garden, and the next, you’re facing the fierce winds and torrential rain of a severe storm. The aftermath can be equally unpredictable, from broken windows to flooded basements. Understanding these issues can prepare homeowners for recovery and prevention.
The Unwelcomed Water: Flooded Basements
Water, while essential for life, can become a formidable foe when it finds its way into places it shouldn’t. Basements, being the lowest part of a house, are vulnerable to storm damage.
Causes of Basement Flooding
- Heavy rainfall: Even well-constructed homes can suffer from water seepage if the downpour is persistent.
- Poor drainage: Clogged gutters or improperly sloped landscapes can divert water towards your home.
- Sump pump failures: These devices, designed to remove accumulated water, can malfunction or become overwhelmed.
- Water removal: Using submersible pumps or wet vacuums can help remove standing water.
- Drying out: Industrial fans or dehumidifiers can expedite the drying process.
- Check foundations: Regularly inspect your foundation for cracks and seal any that are found.
The Unexpected Openings: Broken Windows
The saying might go ‘people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’, but sometimes, the stones come uninvited. Broken windows are a common result of stormy weather.
Reasons Windows Break
- Flying debris: High winds can toss around unsecured items, turning them into projectiles.
- Pressure changes: Severe weather events, like tornadoes, can cause rapid pressure changes, shattering windows.
- Aging frames: Over time, frames can weaken, making windows more susceptible to breakage.
What to Do Post-Breakage
- Safety first: Wear gloves, and carefully remove large shards. Use a broom for smaller pieces.
- Temporary patch: Use plywood or heavy-duty plastic to seal the opening until repairs can be made.
- Assess damage: Before replacing the window, ensure structural damage isn’t the root cause.
The Road to Recovery
Dealing with the aftermath of a storm isn’t just about cleaning up; it’s also about planning ahead.
- Insurances: Check your homeowner’s policy. Many cover storm damages, which can alleviate financial strains.
- Professional help: Sometimes DIY isn’t enough. Consider hiring professionals for extensive damages.
- Preventative measures: Think long-term. Reinforce windows, install sump pumps, and ensure your landscape directs water away from your home.
Preparing for the Next Storm
Nobody enjoys dealing with the mess after a storm, but preparation can make the aftermath more manageable and prevent certain damages. Here’s how you can armor your home against the unpredictable.
Protecting Your Beloved Basement
We’ve already mentioned flooded basements, but what about preventative steps to keep the water at bay?
Install a Backwater Valve
- Function: This device prevents municipal sewage lines from backing up into your home’s outlets.
- Benefits: Not only can it prevent basement flooding, but it also stops sewage from entering your home.
- Up and away: Keep appliances like washers, dryers, and heaters above potential water levels.
- Use cinder blocks: This cost-effective method can lift your appliances several inches off the ground, providing an extra layer of protection.
Fortifying Windows and Doors
While broken windows are a concern, don’t forget about your doors!
Strengthening with Film
- Film benefits: Safety and security films can hold shattered glass together, minimizing the risk of injury.
- Easy application: These films are adhesive and can be applied to existing windows and glass doors.
Storm Shutters: Not Just for Looks
- Protection in layers: Shutters offer an added layer of protection against flying debris.
- Varieties: From roll-down shutters to storm panels, there’s a type to suit every home and budget.
Safeguarding the Home Exterior
Your home’s exterior can be a point of vulnerability. Here’s how to bolster its defenses.
Secure Loose Items
- Potential projectiles: Unsecured items like garden tools or patio furniture can cause damage during storms.
- Storage solutions: Consider investing in a sturdy shed or storage bins.
Check the Roof
- Regular inspections: Schedule annual roof inspections to check for weak points or potential leaks.
- Gutter maintenance: Clean gutters and downspouts ensure water flows away from your home, reducing the risk of flooding.
Landscaping as a Defense Tool
The right landscaping choices can do more than beautify your home. They can also serve as barriers against storm damage.
- Tree placement: Ensure trees are planted away from the house. Falling branches can cause significant damage.
- Root consideration: Some tree species have invasive root systems that can harm your home’s foundation.
- Use of ground covers: Plants like creeping juniper can prevent soil erosion.
- Functional and aesthetic: Well-placed plants can safeguard your home while enhancing its curb appeal.
Emergency Kits: Always Be Prepared
No matter how well you prepare your home, it’s essential to prepare your family too.
Essentials for a Storm Kit
- Basic supplies: Think water, non-perishable food, flashlights, and batteries.
- Medical needs: A first-aid kit, along with any essential medications.
- Important documents: Keep copies of insurance policies, identification, and medical records in a waterproof container.
- Stay connected: Ensure all family members know how to get in touch if separated.
- Safe places: Designate safe meetup points both inside and outside your home.
While the wrath of nature can be fierce and unforgiving, homeowners aren’t entirely at its mercy. By taking proactive steps – from landscaping choices to securing windows – households can reduce potential dangers and ensure the safety of their homes and loved ones. Storms might be inevitable, but with preparation, their devastating effects don’t have to be.
If you have suffered damage to your home as the result of a storm, contact Storm Damage today. With decades of experience, our team of legal professionals, claims consultants, and contractors are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. We know how important your home is, and our mission is to ensure that claims are paid out swiftly so you can repair your living space and go back to living comfortably as quickly as possible.
We’re here to help – there are no costs or obligations involved in getting a consultation. No matter what damage you’ve suffered or issues you might have encountered with your insurance company, get in touch for support and advice today.
Find us at: 200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801.
Call us today for a free consultation on (833) 941-7867.