12 preventive measures that can reduce the damage caused by storms
Blog summary: SERVPRO talks about 12 ways to strengthen a property to reduce storm damage and how SERVPRO technicians can help.
How to mitigate storm damage?
Storms are unpredictable and the damage they can cause can be extensive and life-threatening. SERVPRO shares 12 preventive measures to maintain a property and mitigate damage that can be caused by storms.
- Reinforce the roof
A roof that is 5-10 years older should be checked for damaged shingles and loose nails and sheathing.
- A damaged shingle is more likely to break free during a storm. And a missing shingle is a dangerous gap for the wind to get under and cause more damage. Ensure the shingles are installed correctly - not above the nail line.
- The siding must also be checked for damage and repaired as per need.
- The chimney flashing must be in prime condition and the chimney can be tightly sealed, if necessary.
- Reinforce the roof by having it retrofitted with brackets, bracing, clips, or straps.
The SERVPRO roof restoration team can assist in repairing and reinforcing the roof and making the property safer during storms.
- Clear gutters
Ensuring the gutters are clear is the first line of defense in helping water to flow away from the property. Gutters should be free-flowing and the downspouts must flow away from the foundation.
In case there is water damage after a storm, SERVPRO water damage technicians can help the owners restore their property.
- Create the right slope
The grade of the lot should allow water to flow away from the property and into a ditch, drain, or any proper retention area. One could add some soil to create a slope of a quarter-inch per foot heading downhill away from the property’s foundation. Gravity will pull the water away from the house and prevent summer storm damage.
- Secure the foundation
To avoid basement flooding and water damage to property during a storm, the house foundations should be completely waterproof. Necessary repairs must be made to any cracks:
- Small cracks must be sealed with caulk designed to repair masonry
- Larger gaps should be mended with hydraulic cement
- Ensure a working sump pump
Sump pumps must be checked before spring rains start. To be extra safe, a backup sump pump along with a battery backup, in case of power cuts, would help safeguard against basement flooding.
- Seal doors and windows tightly
In case of tornado winds, a small opening in windows or doors could enlarge and allow enough wind inside to compromise the property’s roof.
- Check doors for missing screws/bolts or loose hinges
- Fit keyhole covers on doors to keep rainwater and snow at bay
- Use weather-stripping to seal doors and windows tightly
- Apply caulk on both sides of windows to prevent water seepage
- Apply a durable clear plastic film on windows to prevent glass shards from blowing inside the house if the winds breach the windows
- Install permanent shutters to shield windows from wind and debris
- Windows made especially to withstand storm-level air pressure and impact can be installed in areas with extreme weather conditions
- Nail down loose fence posts
Fence posts that are not nailed down will be uprooted by storm winds. Therefore, they must be checked during the storm preparation.
- Trim the trees
A dead, hollowed, or diseased tree is unlikely to stand up to the strong winds and rains of a summer storm. Such problem trees can damage homes, vehicles, or even a neighbor’s property. A tree expert can also be hired to check for dangerous trees.
In general, regularly trimming the trees on the property is an excellent way to protect the roof and windows.
- Secure the furniture
Heavy, tall furniture, such as bookshelves or cabinets, should be anchored to the wall so they’re secure and won’t fall. Additionally, furniture must be moved away from doors or windows.
- Protect vehicles
Vehicles left outdoors during a storm are bound to be impacted by flying debris and hail. They can be parked in the garage, a covered parking space, or a temporary shelter.
- Identify projectiles
Items such as lawn furniture, tools, grills, picnic tables, and flower pots must be moved indoors to a garage or shed, lest they become dangerous projectiles.
- Keep a generator on standby
A power cut-off, for some hours or even days, is a likely incident in case of a bad storm. So it is advisable to have a generator at hand so living in the house is comfortable until power is restored.
- SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lake Travis / NW Austin, or anywhere else can quickly access the services.
- With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
- The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.