Every summer without fail, for as long as I can remember anyway, we have had at least one storm that has caused property damage to either my parent’s house or that of a close neighbor or friend. Summer storms can be a real concern in the Midwest because they often lead to tornadoes in the blink of an eye.
Although the absolute worst case scenario is when a whole town is destroyed and the potential for people to lose their lives and all of their belongings, less severe consequences can come from summer storms too. The cost of rebuilding after a storm, even with the help of insurance, can be hard on your budget. Luckily there are a few things you can do to prepare and reduce the costs of damage from summer storms.
Store Stuff Properly
Obviously you can’t put away or store your roof, but you should take a look around the outside of your property and put away anything that could get damaged by inclement weather. Some items might be too heavy to move, such as large, heavy cement flower pots. However, if they are left sitting around, patio chairs and other lighter items could blow away or become missiles of destruction, costing you a lot of money in repairs and replacements if it happens multiple times. These small items are not large enough losses to deal with an insurance claim, but they can still take toll on your budget.
Put patio furniture inside your garage if possible, or move things under a covered patio if you have access to this more protected space.
Secure Doors and Windows
It didn’t take me long to learn to firmly close and lock my storm door on the front of my house when a storm was about to hit. One time of forgetfulness was all it took for the wind to nearly rip it completely off, which would have cost me a couple hundred dollars to replace.
It doesn’t take much time to make sure your windows and doors are firmly closed and locked. It takes a lot less time to secure them than to replace them later after they are damaged. Plus unsecured windows and doors may allow wind and water damage to occur in other parts of your home too, like the time my parents’ basement flooded and ruined the carpet, the sheetrock, and more due to a window with a bad seal.
Inspect Your Roof
If your roof is not in good condition, you might be asking for trouble when a storm hits. You should look it over on a regular basis yourself, or if you feel you need help, call a professional for an assessment on the condition of your roof. If any shingles are loose or missing, replace them as soon as possible to prevent leaks from future storms which could cost you a lot more money in damages to your home than it would cost to replace a few shingles as a preventative measure.
Keep your gutters clear and trees and bushes trimmed. If you have any old, dead trees near your house, have them professionally removed. It might cost a little to do, but it could save you thousands in repairs by preventing broken branches from crashing into your living room during a summer storm. I spent close to $1,000 a couple of years ago to have a tree removed by a professional due to it’s location by my house and in the power lines. While that was a big expense for my budget, I know it would have cost me far more if it had fallen and caused damage in a big storm.
Protect Trees and Shrubs
Young trees and shrubs might need a helping hand to stand up to high winds. Tree stake kits can be purchased on the internet for under $20, and there are plenty of how-to videos to give you instruction on using them. Staking your favorite tree could prevent it from breaking in a storm so you don’t have to invest in a new one.
You can’t prevent summer storms from happening and you can’t prevent all of the damage they might cause. Nevertheless, if you think ahead about how to reduce the costs of damage from a summer storm, you can save not only money, but extra time and work as well.
Do you do anything to prepare for impending summer storms? Do you suffer from summer storms where you live?
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