Protective Storm Measures

Hurricane Florence is moving through the East Coast and the nation is sending prayers to loved ones in the path of its reckoning. We Ohioans can only imagine the strength it takes to walk away from a vacant home in the wake of a hurricane or tropical storm. As we received the small backlash of this enormous storm with intense rainfall around the state, it’s only right to reflect on how we can help those affected and also prevent our own homes from experiencing damage. While we don’t typically see the same intensity of storms as those in tropical areas, it’s our job to double- and sometimes triple- check our homes to protect our property against fierce winds and buckets of rain. This week we’re talking storms, protection, and feeling more secure when your home is in the path of dangerous weather conditions.

The biggest and most obvious protective measure is insurance. Ohio is notorious for flash flooding, tornados and heavy snowfall. Extreme weather in any of the four seasons can destroy homes that are in its path no matter how small or large. The one preventative measure that can save us from financial trouble is homeowners insurance. Find a company you trust to cover your home and routinely check your plan to ensure it covers the basics needed for an Ohio home. Common coverage items are listed below:

  • Cover structure and contents damaged from wind, ice, and water

  • Burst water pipes

  • Window, roof, gutter, and siding damage

  • After the fact expenses that cover instances like debris removal

  • Sewer drain backup

  • Flooding and water leaks

  • Reasonable, temporary repairs to prevent further damage


Tornados

The months of April to July are peak tornado season in Ohio. Hearing the initial siren go off is displeasing to all, but especially to those away from home. Being at home and tending to it’s situational needs as the wind gusts start to intensify is the ideal situation. But when the funnel is quickly approaching a vacant home, there’s no one to save it from the damage that will be done unless the home has been prepared for such weather conditions. There’s no telling when exactly a tornado will hit, so it’s best to be ready at all times during those few months of the year. Here’s how to keep your home safe from strong winds:


  • Make sure insurance is up-to-date especially leading up to tornado season

  • Update inventory of all the contents in your home

  • Install storm shutters to protect all windows

  • Inspect the home for missing or damaged items

  • Install deadbolt locks as necessary to doors leading outside

  • Assign a “safe room” within the house

  • Have a professional look at the chimney

  • Look into purchasing steel doors


Winter Storms & Freezing Temperatures

The winter months are notorious for bringing record low temperatures and enormous amounts of snowfall each year. Checking your property before those temperatures hit can save a home in the long run. While it’s uncommon to think of the unexpected events that could take place in the winter, snowfall can collapse a roof or freeze a pipe quicker than imagined if all the proper checks have not taken place. Here’s a list of all the items that should be taken care of prior to winter storm season:


  • Clean gutter debris

  • Take care of missing shingles

  • Attend to overhanging tree limbs

  • Inspect the underside of the roof

  • Winterize your pipes and monitor heat through the house

  • Ensure your generator is set up in the event of a power outage

  • Service and clean all heating systems

  • Keep out the cold by caulking, insulating, and using weather strips around the house


Flooding

Basements are prone to flooding when record rainfall hits the state. Flash floods happen frequently in Ohio. According to the Ohio Division of Soil and Water Resources, Ohio averages almost 38 inches of rain annually. Water damage should be covered in general insurance plans, but be sure to read the fine print about all that is covered in the home. There are minimal ways to prevent flooding in your home, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Follow these few protective measures to keep water out of the home:

  • Check the grading around your home to detect if water flows toward or away

  • Seal all cracks in windows and walls especially in the basement

  • Regularly clear gutters and storm drains

  • Call a plumber to check the sump pump and install a backwater valve

  • If water leaks have occurred in the past, purchase water leak sensors


Homes are one of the most valuable assets in a homeowner’s life if not the most valuable asset. It’s a homeowner’s job to protect their house in times of distress when severe weather makes its way into the neighborhood. Remember to conduct annual checks and ensure you have taken all the steps necessary to keep your house, family, and yourself safe when the weather outside is unsafe.

Are there any protective measures you take as a homeowner that we may have missed? Share your tips and tricks below!