In the heart of Minnesota, where the weather can be as unpredictable as it is beautiful, homeowners are no strangers to the potential damages storms can bring. From hailstorms to fierce winds, nature’s fury can wreak havoc on our homes. But fear not, for Johnson Exteriors, a family-owned company with over 30 years of experience in the Twin Cities metro area, is here with some expert advice on minimizing the impact of storm damage.
- Secure your roof to prevent major damages.
- Ensure doors and windows are fortified against stormy conditions.
- Regularly inspect the siding and foundation of your home.
- Clean up your yard to prevent flying debris.
- Invest in proper insurance for peace of mind.
Protecting Your Roof: The First Line of Defense
Regular Roof Inspections
Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. An older roof might be more susceptible to damage, so it’s crucial to have it inspected regularly. Ensure all shingles are in place, replace any damaged tiles, and check for loose nails or sheathing. Johnson Exteriors emphasizes the importance of maintaining a structurally sound roof, as it often bears the brunt of a storm’s impact.
Fortifying Doors and Windows
While roofs are essential, don’t neglect the rest of your home. Doors and windows, being less robust than roofs or walls, can be damaged more easily. Ensure all fittings are secure, and consider applying clear films to windows to prevent breakage. Caulking around the edges of windows can also prevent moisture from seeping in.
Foundation and Siding: The Unsung Heroes
Maintaining a Strong Foundation
Even small cracks in your foundation can let in water, leading to significant damage. Ensure your foundation is waterproof and free from cracks. Address any cracks immediately, using caulk for smaller ones and hydraulic cement for larger ones.
Inspecting the Siding
Your home’s siding plays a crucial role in keeping water out during a storm. Regularly inspect your walls for holes and cracks, and address any issues promptly. Pay special attention to openings for pipes, wires, and ductwork, ensuring they are well-sealed.
Preparing Your Yard: An Often Overlooked Step
Storms don’t just affect your home; they can turn your yard into a danger zone. Loose items, from patio furniture to tree branches, can become projectiles in strong winds. Before a storm hits, secure or store away any loose items in your yard. This not only protects your belongings but also prevents potential damage to your home and those of your neighbors.
Insurance: Your Safety Net
Despite your best efforts, sometimes nature’s fury can be overwhelming. This is where having the right insurance comes into play. It can cover repair costs and give homeowners peace of mind. Johnson Exteriors recommends checking your policy to ensure you’re covered for storm damage and considering additional coverage if necessary.
Three Recommended Action Steps:
- Schedule a Roof Inspection: Don’t wait for a storm to hit. Schedule a regular inspection with professionals like Johnson Exteriors to ensure your roof is in top condition.
- Review Your Insurance Policy: Make sure you’re adequately covered for storm damage. If not, consider updating your policy.
- Prepare Your Yard: Before storm season, do a thorough cleanup of your yard. Secure loose items and trim overhanging tree branches.
Post-Storm Safety: What to Do After the Storm Passes
While the immediate threat of a storm may have passed, the aftermath can still pose significant dangers. It’s crucial to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your home and loved ones.
- Stay Out of Floodwaters: Floodwaters can contain harmful contaminants, including germs, chemicals, and waste. Always heed warnings about flooded areas.
- Driving Precautions: Avoid driving in flooded areas. Cars can easily be swept away or stall in moving water.
- Personal Hygiene: If you come into contact with floodwater, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Wet Electrical Devices: Never use a device that has been exposed to water. If it’s still plugged in, turn off the power at the main breaker and consult an electrician.
- Power Outages: If the power is out, opt for flashlights over candles to prevent fire hazards. If using candles, keep them away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended.
Carbon Monoxide Precautions
Fuel-burning equipment, such as generators or grills, can produce carbon monoxide (CO) – a deadly, odorless gas.
- Safe Equipment Use: Never use gasoline or coal-burning equipment indoors. Keep them outside and away from windows and vents.
- CO Detectors: Use battery-operated CO detectors when using fuel-burning equipment. If the detector beeps, evacuate your home immediately and call 911.
- Beware of Unusual Noises: If you hear strange or shifting noises in a building, it could be on the verge of collapsing. Evacuate immediately.
Beware of Power Lines
Fallen power lines can be deadly. Always assume a downed power line is live and dangerous.
- Maintain Distance: Stay clear of fallen power lines and report them to the electric company.
Animal and Pest Safety
After a storm, wild or stray animals may pose a threat.
- Use Insect Repellent: Protect yourself from mosquito bites with repellents containing DEET or picaridin.
- Avoid Wild Animals: Stay away from wild or stray animals and report them to local officials.
Safe Food and Water
Contaminated food and water can lead to illnesses.
- Discard Contaminated Food: Throw away any food that may have come in contact with floodwaters. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Safe Drinking Water: Listen to local reports for water safety advice. Use bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene.
The aftermath of a storm can be emotionally taxing. It’s essential to take care of your emotional health.
- Stay Connected: Reach out to family, friends, and community members for support.
- Seek Help: If you or a loved one is struggling emotionally, consider seeking professional help.
Remember, while storms can be devastating, with the right precautions and post-storm practices, you can minimize the impact and keep your home and family safe. Johnson Exteriors is always here to help with any exterior repairs or consultations you might need. Stay safe, Minnesota!