We are going through some of the warmest and wettest years in recent memory and climate twists and turns that raise many eyebrows. Various weather incidents are becoming almost a norm, leaving people wondering what can be done to mitigate the impact on their property, budget, and well-being. Well, we might not (still) be able to keep the weather in check, but there is a lot we can do to soften the intensity of the punch.
Namely, the good news is that regular maintenance, repairs, and other chores go a long way towards preventing costly damage. Rest assured that it is never too premature to start taking active steps and measures. Here is how to shield your home from the heavy beating of the elements without breaking the bank.
Prevention is the best cure
It goes without saying that there is no way to keep your home out of the harm’s way completely. But, you do not have to be left at the mercy of unpredictable and moody nature, especially if you have already seen a fair share of extreme weather events. One of the first steps should be getting to know what you are going up against.
In most areas, constant temperature extremes are not uncommon and they usually mean trouble. They bring about periods of water and heat penetration that causes damage to buildings over time. That is why we are witnessing a spike in property damage insurance claims as of lately. But, insurance policies are just one tool at your disposal and they do not help with prevention.
Maintenance holds the key
So, start by committing to regularly maintaining your property. Put together an action plan. This due diligence makes your home less susceptible to damage caused by weather extremes. For instance, if you make an effort to fix leaking gutters and blocked drains, you can prevent the water from entering your home after heavy rains.
Likewise, you might want to mend cracked brickwork and rendering. Wild swings in temperatures expand and contract building material, which causes damage to masonry and other surfaces. To make it worse, cracks increase damp penetration and moisture freezing inside. Therefore, have a solid maintenance schedule in place.
Exterior inspection and repairs
While at it, carry out a thorough inspection of the home’s exterior. You should focus on clearing air bricks and ventilation areas to prevent damp, rot, and pests from invading your living environment. Also, check whether roof or wall tiles are damaged and missing and make sure there are no gaps that let the wind and water inside.
Next, turn your attention to the gable wall. Know that it should be properly connected to the roof trusses, which act as a support framework. Any structural faults allow even the mini hurricanes to collapse the wall. Besides, strong winds could put a substantial suction pressure on the walls and bring you a lot of headaches.
In case you live in the area where natural disasters like floods and hurricanes are prevalent, you have a bit more ground to cover. Homeowners who want to minimize the property damage from overflowing rivers or storm drains should stock up on sandbags. They can also build an extra concrete or earth wall (a bound wall) and improve the water run-off.
When it comes to hurricanes, you should bolster home’s openings (doors, windows, shutters), which are the most vulnerable. You do not have to go out of your way to make it happen. You should seek available hurricane shutter finance programs and increase storm protection against threats like windborne debris. It also helps to have an emergency evacuation plan.
When insulating the home, try not to go overboard. For example, it is not a good idea to insulate the edge of the eaves. After all, you have to strike a fine balance between insulation and ventilation in your interior realm. A lack of air circulation is a problem that exposes you to high risks such as condensation problems.
This unfavorable climate breeds rot and decay of the roof timbers. Also, bear in mind that extreme heat, ventilation helps you maintain optimal climate and eliminate the need for your air conditioning to work heavy duty. In subtropical climates like Florida, roof venting moves quite a bit of heat that sun produces out of the attic.
Enhance the envelope
Furthermore, assess the condition of the envelope of your home. Upgrades in the area of insulation can dramatically improve the thermal (energy) efficiency. To make it happen, identify the weakest links, which are usually attic, loft, windows, and doors. There are many inexpensive projects like weather stripping you can take on.
But, before that, make necessary repairs and consider cavity wall insulation options. This investment can make short work of any water trying to seep through cavities. Moreover, you can reduce the amount of unwanted temperature loss and maintain optimal indoor climate without inflating our utility bills. So, it is a clear win-win.
A prolonged period of dry weather and a lack of moisture is another extreme climate predicament you need to take into account. It gives rise to subsidence, which is the result of foundation movement. What is more, this occurrence can have another culprit— water softening the subsoil and washing away the particles that hold it together.
The age of the house and proximity to shrubs and trees also have a role to play in increasing the risk. So, learn to recognize signs of subsidence and how to properly deal with this issue. Steps like checking out and pruning the trees allow you to stay on the safe side. Like it or not, you must be prepared to cover all the bases.
On the safe side
The good time to prepare for extreme weather would be now, not when you see storm clouds on the horizon. There is no shortage of risks that pray on your health, wellbeing, household budget, or property itself. Thus, take your time to come up with a plan. Educate yourself on the risks and natural disasters that exist in your area. Enhance the home’s insulation and schedule maintenance tasks. Do not cut corners and opt for lasting and durable solutions. Ensure prime comfort inside and steer away from financial shocks and turmoil. Safeguard your loved one and gain a peace of mind.