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Battening Down the Hatches

Battening Down The Hatches

Certain areas of the country are prone to dangerous storms such as hurricanes, winter storms, and tornadoes.These storms can cause a great deal of harm to your home, so it would be best to prepare your home before a storm strikes rather than have to worry about cleaning up the damage afterwards. Although tornadoes give little warning, storms such as hurricanes generally form a distance away from where they eventually make landfall. Like almost everything else, homes need almost continuous maintenance, so keeping your home in good shape to begin with will help it weather even a serious storm better.

Preventive Maintenance

Taking some time to check your home periodically can help to keep it from deteriorating and being more susceptible to storm damage. The roof is probably the best place to start. Loose or damaged shingles are much more likely to be ripped off during a storm, and should be replaced immediately. If the gutters are not firmly attached, make sure that you reattach them; they too can be removed by the winds accompanying a serious storm.

Chimneys, likewise, can also be destroyed by high winds if they are not in good repair. The bricks can not only be dislodged, ruining the chimney, but can actually go through the roof and cause damage inside the house. Missing bricks should be replaced and cracks in the cement should be filled immediately.

If your home has siding, make sure it is firmly attached so that it cannot be torn away by high winds. Even if the siding is not actually removed, loose siding will allow rainwater to enter, which can cause structural damage to your home.

Making Your Home Resistant To Storms

Many homes built before the 1940s are not attached to their foundations. It would be a good idea to check whether this is the case with your house, especially if it is older. Anchor bolts can be used to secure the house to the foundation.

Most of the damage done to homes during a hurricane occurs when the windows are broken by flying debris and the house is left open to the elements. It is absolutely useless to tape windows to prevent damage – taping will help keep the glass shards from flying around as much, but will not keep the windows from breaking. In order to keep your windows intact, you will have to provide them with storm shutters. There are a number of companies that make these shutters and they can be constructed to fit any size or shape of window. It is easily possible to make these yourself with plywood, and this is a very economical way to provide good protection for your windows. Use half in plywood and drill holes so that the window guard can be screwed on to the frame when a storm is imminent.

While a direct hit from a tornado can destroy almost any building, many homes lose their roofs even if they are not right in the path of the storm. Tie down straps are available that go over the house and are anchored in the ground, and these will help keep your roof, and perhaps your house where it is supposed to be.