In Maryland, we can see anything from heavy rains that can cause flooding to high winds from hurricanes and tornados. While your personal safety is always the first priority during severe weather, keeping your house safe can help you feel more secure when a storm hits. Learn how to prepare your home for inclement weather and what to do after the storm has passed.
Before the Storm
- Maintain Your Roof and Gutter System
The key to keeping your home leak-free during a storm is regular maintenance for your home’s exterior year-round. During the spring and fall, check key areas on your roof, such as the flashing, vent pipes, and nails, and clean out your gutters. If you see any signs of roof damage like blown-off shingles, get them repaired immediately. And if your roof or gutters need a full replacement, don’t wait until after heavy winds and rain have done more damage by allowing water inside.
- Install a Generator
When you lose power, your home can quickly lose temperature control with unbearably hot weather in the summer and dangerously freezing temperatures in the winter. A standby generator installed by a licensed electrician will detect when the power goes out and automatically turn itself on, powering all of your household essentials, and vice versa. A backup generator can last for days or even weeks when it’s connected directly to the fuel source, so you will be safe and comfortable even if the power goes out in your neighborhood.
- Clear Items Around the House
Falling tree branches are a common cause of roof damage. Keep an eye on the trees surrounding your home and trim branches that overhang your roof. Or, call a tree service to remove old or diseased trees that are at risk of falling on your property. When a severe storm is in the forecast, clear away outdoor furniture, sports equipment, and lawn tools that could be thrown by winds, crashing into your siding and windows.
After the Storm
- Check for Damage in Key Areas
When it is safe to do so, walk around the exterior of your house and look for blown-off shingles, cracked siding, and broken windows. Make sure that your gutters have effectively moved water away from your home’s foundation. Even if you don’t see anything obvious on the exterior of your home, check your attic to ensure there is no water leaking through the plywood decking on the underside of your roof. Make sure to document any damage to show your insurance company and to better help you explain the issues to a contractor providing repairs.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
If you think homeowner’s insurance may cover the damage, call your insurance company. Sometimes the process can be lengthy, taking up to a few months between the initial call and the final repairs, but many policies will cover the damage after you have paid the deductible, so it’s worth the wait.
- Avoid Storm Chasers
Do your research to find the best contractor to fix the specific storm damage on your home. Don’t get scammed by storm chasers, predatory contractors who follow major storms knocking on doors to provide subpar service and shoddy work to unsuspecting homeowners. You can weed out storm chasers by checking online reviews, finding out where the main office is located, considering how long the company has been in business, and asking to see their license and certificate of insurance.
Brothers is a full-service remodeler that has been improving Maryland homes for over 30 years. We have the ability to do small and large repairs and replacements for things like your roof, siding, and gutters, as well as interior projects like finishing your basement. Whether a recent storm has damaged your home, or you want to prepare for the future, schedule a free, no-pressure consultation so our home repair experts can guide you to the right solution.