5 Ways to Storm-Proof & Protect Your Home Exterior
Texas sees its fair share of unpredictable and extreme weather. Tropical storms, hurricane-speed winds, and even nasty rains that just refuse to go away; all of them can cause serious damage to your home’s structure and exterior. We can’t stop or prevent storms, but we can be prepared for the damage they cause if we just know how to prepare your house for a hurricane. All things considered, an investment in weather-proofing your home is an investment in the future.
Take the time you need to equip your home with everything you need to survive a storm, from accessories to DIY measures. Remember that storm damage is inevitable, but you can lessen it by a long margin with some elbow grease and these very practical tips that we bring to you, no matter if it’s on the outer walls, windows or rooftop.
Here are our tips on how to protect your home from storm damage!
1. Reinforce your garage door
Garage doors are strong, but storm winds are stronger. Most people store some very valuable (and deceivingly fragile) things in their garage, but high winds can blow off a garage door and make a mess inside. Not only that, but the wind and water can also cause structural damage once they get inside.
If you want to avoid this scenario, hire a garage door company to inspect your door and determine if it can withstand strong winds or is in need of repairs and reinforcement to do so.
2. Anchor all potential projectiles
In broad terms, everything that’s not nailed to the ground around your home is a projectile once the storm hits. The fast winds will pick them up and throw them around, and the can hit your home with enough force to damage the beautiful paint at least and cause structural damage at worst. Prevent this by first checking around your property for things like yard tools, lawnmowers, trash cans, grill, and patio furniture that’s loose, then storing them properly inside a shed or your garage. If the shed itself or other outbuildings don’t have a permanent foundation, anchor them to the ground.
The next is to rid your yard of all debris and plants. Fallen branches should be disposed of properly according to your neighborhood’s rules, and potted plants can be stored inside your shed or house if there’s enough space for them.
3. Protect your doors and windows
When a storm breaks a door or window, it’s more dangerous than just some water getting inside the house. The wind is funneled at extremely high speeds into the home, pushing upwards and potentially damaging the whole roof structure, which brings further damages. It’s important to seal your windows and doors as tightly as you can when a storm is coming.
The first thing you should consider is getting steel or aluminum shutters for your home, which are secured by special hardware and made to fit each individual entryway into the house. They are on the expensive side, costing $50-$60 per square foot, so French sliding doors can set you back a couple of thousand dollars. If that price is out of the question, you can make DIY shutters out of ¾ inch marine plywood or metal storm panels, leaving four inches on each side of the space you’re covering then bolting them down.
4. Remember your roof
The roof is your first line of defense against the elements, and it can protect your home’s interior from the chaos outside. Therefore, you should remember to do all the necessary repairs in your roof to avoid it being blown off partially or totally during a storm. Hire a contractor to check if your shingles are held securely to the roof and make the repairs where they’re not; it can be costly, but nothing compared to the bill you’d have to pay for a torn roof.
You can also have the contractor fasten secure metal roofing and siding to the frame of your house, installing them so that the wind cannot make its way beneath the siding and blow the whole thing off. Finally, if you have a chimney, check that it’s properly sealed or the water can filter down to your home, otherwise you will have to find some ideas to flood-proof your house.
5. Trim or remove trees close to your property
In good weather, a tree is a beautiful addition to any home. During storms, it can be a real issue if not an imminent danger. You will want to check your insurance policy for fallen tree damage, but even then you really don’t want to have any trouble because of them, so trim all small-to-mid-sized trees in your property.
As for the big guys, make sure that there’s enough space between them and your house, at least as much as the maximum height of the tree. If there is not, or you don’t trust it to stay in place, you will have to remove it.