Just like every other home, your property is susceptible to the formidable forces of Mother Nature. When it comes to spring storms, the best advice is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Here’s how to equip your home for spring storms, what potential damage to anticipate in the months ahead, and how to handle the wreckage once you’re in the clear.

 

Preparing for Spring Storms

 

While there’s no way to avoid tumultuous spring weather, you can prepare for it. With a little bit of forethought and good old-fashioned elbow grease, you can set your home up for success during the spring weather season. Once the weather outside begins to warm up, it’s time to get to work.

country-house

 Inspect Exterior

Your home’s exterior is its first line of defense, so it’s important to keep it in optimal condition. To prepare your home for spring storms, first examine the exterior. Check for loose or damaged siding, and replace sections as necessary. Next, determine whether your roof has sustained damage, including to shingles, flashing, soffit, and fascia. A professional roofer understands how to maneuver around a roof with minimal risk, so contact a trusted local roofing company and have a technician inspect it for you. Be sure to address any trouble spots promptly so your home is prepared when the next storm hits.
  
 

Tune-Up Gutter System

A crucial component of your home’s defense against spring storms is the gutter system. Gutters collect and direct rainwater safely away from your home’s façade and foundation. If your gutter system is damaged or clogged, your home will be vulnerable to leaks and flooding. To prevent this from happening, clean your gutters, removing all leaves and other waste. This should be done at least twice a year—once before spring rainstorms and once before the winter snows. If you’ve never tuned your gutters before, it’s a good idea to have a professional come and inspect, repair, and secure them.
  
 

Remove Yard Waste

With spring storms come high winds that can quickly turn your property into a scene from The Wizard of Oz. To prevent unnecessary damage, remove all yard waste and potentially harmful landscaping (e.g. unstable trees, bushes, and shrubs). Take time to trim small tree limbs that may be lost in storms, and clean up any fallen twigs, sticks, and branches. If you have any large or dead tree limbs that need to be taken care of, call a local professional and have them removed. By eliminating these hazards, you’ll be reducing your risk of exterior damage from trees and yard debris.
 
lightning

 

SOURCES OF SPRING WEATHER DAMAGE

 

 

Spring weather can wreak havoc on your home, subjecting it to abundant rain, high-powered winds, damaging hail, or erratic lighting. Spring storms are simultaneously expected and unpredictable, as are their consequences.

LIGHTNING

While it may not be a common occurrence, lightning striking your home can cause serious damage. In severe cases, it can ignite a fire, but more commonly, it damages electrical work or causes power outages. If your home is struck by lightning, it's important to rule out the possibility of a fire. First, check your attic for visible smoke or flames, and put out any fires with an approved extinguisher. Avoid using or touching water, electric appliances, or anything metal immediately after the lightning strikes. Call the fire department as soon as possible to report what happened. Even if you can't see flames, there may be a hidden smoldering fire in your attic or walls.
  

HAIL

An unfortunate product of spring storms, hail can cause serious damage in a short time. In most cases, you won’t be able to identify damage until after the storm has passed. When it is safe to go outside, inspect your siding, windows, and roof for damage (but never climb on your roof right after a storm). Seal off any broken or cracked windows until you can have them repaired. If you intend to file a homeowners insurance claim, report the damage to your insurance agent as soon as possible. Choose a trustworthy construction professional to perform the repairs for you, and have them present to give a second opinion when the claims adjuster comes to estimate the repair costs.
  

RAIN

Heavy rain can cause a number of unpleasant conditions within your property, including roof leaks, flooding, and erosion. Many of these issues can be avoided by implementing proper roof and gutter maintenance, but sometimes, the storms will get the best of even a well prepared home. If possible, minimize the damage by removing the water as it comes in. After the storm has subsided, contact a professional to have your roof repaired and water damage remedied.
 

WIND

High gusts of wind can send debris and other objects flying. Wind—and its tagalongs—has the potential to seriously damage your roof and siding. After a particularly windy storm, it’s not uncommon to find shingles, branches, and even pieces of siding scattered throughout the yard. High winds can even make trees topple over onto homes. When it’s safe to go outside after high winds, assess the damage and plan your next steps, including submitting a report to your insurance agent if appropriate.
 
house

 

Identifying Storm Damage

 
 
It’s likely that your home will have to face more than just one storm this spring. Because of this, it's important to return all of your external systems to working order as soon as possible once the severe weather has passed. Work with a professional to identify areas that will need to be addressed to stand up against the next bout of poor weather.

Roof

If your area has been hit by a particularly bad storm, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected for damage. If your roof is leaking or if a tree has fallen on your home, it’s important to schedule repairs immediately. Other issues like missing shingles or hail damage should also be remedied promptly, but be sure to follow any applicable guidelines in your homeowners insurance policy. When in doubt, contact your local roofing professional. A trained technician can identify problems and resolve them effectively.
  
 

Gutters

Following rain and wind, there’s more unwanted gunk in your gutters. After a storm, do a quick once-over to be sure that there isn’t anything clogging your gutters. If there are areas of the system that are broken or sagging, address the issue quickly so the gutters are ready for the next big storm. For major repairs, contact a trustworthy professional.
  
 

Siding

Do a quick walk around your home. Look for any areas of your siding that may have been damaged in the storm. Identify missing sections and loose pieces so you or a professional can replace them promptly. You may be able to repair small holes or cracks, but for more serious damage, it’s best to replace the siding or have a professional do it for you.
 

 

Repairing Spring Storm Damage

 
 
Once you’ve identified any damaged areas of your home, it’s time to get them repaired. First and foremost, it’s important that you act quickly and safely. The sooner the damage is taken care of, the better off your home will be. Remember to understand the terms of your insurance policy so you can get the most out of your homeowners coverage. If your home needs repairs that you’re not comfortable doing on your own, contact your local construction professional. You’ll be glad you did when the next round of spring storms rolls through.

roofer