How to Prepare Your Home for Storm Season

Volatile summer weather brings with it the risks associated with thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes and the like. No matter what part of the country you live in, these tips will help you prevent in-home flooding and other crisis situations that can put your belongings and your loved ones at risk.

Check your sump pump and make sure you have a backup battery. If you have a sump pump in your basement to handle flooding, good thinking! However, sump pumps must be regularly maintained and tested to ensure they’re working properly. You can perform a quick test by dumping a bucket of water into the pump reservoir to observe how it’s working. If it doesn’t funnel water out of the home, check the discharge line to make sure it’s free of debris, and call a professional to have it inspected. Additionally, make sure you have a backup battery on hand to keep the sump pump working in the event of a power outage.

Take a good look at your foundation. To help prevent water from getting into your house in the first place, take a walk around the perimeter of your home to look for cracks and crevices. Fill any holes you find with concrete patching and waterproofing, but call a professional if you're concerned with the structural integrity.

Make sure your gutters are clean. While you may think you don’t need to pay attention to your gutters in the summer when autumn leaves aren’t falling, they can still become clogged with nests, twigs and small branches. Such obstructions can lead to an overflow of water, and if it’s not directed far enough away from your house, the water can find its way into your basement. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your gutters are empty and directing water effectively to the downspouts. If heavy rain is expected, consider extending your downspouts further away from the home with inexpensive corrugated plastic pipes.

Review your homeowners insurance policies. Don’t assume you’ll be covered in the event of weather-related damage. Review your policy annually to avoid any confusion and to see what might have changed in terms of coverage. The last thing you want is an unwelcome surprise in the midst of a crisis, so talk to your insurance provider and have a thorough understanding of your policy up front. If you live in an especially weather-prone area, such as a flood zone, you may want or be required to purchase supplemental insurance.

Source: Southern Trust Home Services

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