April showers may be great for a lush, blooming garden, but the heavy spring storms can lead to very serious damage if you are not prepared. Homeowners can avoid costly repairs by taking a few simple steps before the first storm hits.
Have a Plan in Place
When severe weather hits, the most important thing is to ensure the safety of every member of your family. Keep an emergency kit stocked in a safe place with enough bottled water and nonperishable food for 3-5 days, a flashlight and battery-operated radio with extra batteries, and a first aid kit. Know how to shut off power to your house, as well as water and gas lines, as these actions can be critical to the safety of your family. The utilities companies offer information to assist you, or you can request an in-person appointment.
It is also important to have a plan to protect your property from being damaged when a big storm rolls in: glass-topped patio furniture, for example, can be shattered by hail or debris in high winds, and should be moved to a covered, wind-protected location during major storms. Stay away from windows, in heavy wind, and avoid using electrical appliances during thunderstorms.
Check the Roof and Gutters
To avoid costly leaks and water damage, check your roof before the heavy rains hit. Roofs naturally deteriorate over time, so having a contractor out to check for missing or loose shingles each year, and perform any needed repairs as a critical aspect of protecting your property from water damage.
Gutters that are clogged with leaves and debris won’t allow water to drain properly, so be sure to clear them out. Gutters should also be firmly attached to the sides of the house to avoid being blown off by strong gusts of wind, and should be directed away from the house’s foundation to avoid water entering the basement or other area.
Keep Trees and Shrubs Trimmed
Dead or loose branches can easily be torn off trees by heavy winds, causing damage to nearby property or getting tangled in power lines when they fall. Before storm season, check the health of any large trees on or near your property – barren branches toward the top can be a sign of a tree in poor health, and sprawling roots on one side only could be an indication that the tree may eventually fall to one side. If you’re not sure, it never hurts to have an arborist come and assess your trees for any potential hazards.
Know Your Homeowners’ Insurance Policy
A crucial step you can take to make sure your family is ready for spring storms is to have the appropriate coverage from your homeowners’ insurance. Damage from severe weather is difficult to deal with, but you can avoid f being saddled with the cost of repairs if you are clear on exactly what your policy does and doesn’t cover. At Edison Insurance Group in Fort Myers, Florida, we are happy to give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protected, no matter what nature sends your way.