Tornadoes, hurricanes, snow and hail storms—these are all weather conditions we have a somber respect for. When the forecast tells us these are coming, we take that information seriously, fortifying our homes and even seeking shelter. But it always comes as a shock what devastation heavy rains can cause. It’s just water, right? Well, mother nature has shown us a few times that a lot of water can do a lot of damage.
If you know heavy rains are going to hit your area, don’t ignore it. Fortify your property and start preparing- follow these tips to make sure your home is safe and ready to handle it.
1. Check your shingles & inspect your ceiling.
Inspect your roof to make sure that all of your shingles are intact. Fix any loose ones or replace broken ones before the rain comes. You should check these again after the storm, since heavy weather conditions may cause some damage.
From the inside, look up at your ceilings. Check for watermarks, dark spots or any evidence there may be a leak in your ceiling. If you do catch these, you’ll need a professional to take a look right away.
2. Inspect your basement for leaks.
Walk around your basement, particularly around the perimeter, to check for any damp areas. If you find even a tiny bit of water, this could mean there are cracks in your foundation through which water is seeping in. During heavy storms, this could mean a flooded basement.
3. Install storm doors.
If you live in an area that regularly receives heavy rains and other extreme weather, it may be time to install storm doors. If you have any screen doors, you should remove and replace these with storm doors right away. Screen doors are fragile, and can easily go flying off of their hinges in a storm.
4. Maintain weather seals.
Check the weather seal on all of your doors and windows, and strengthen it where you must.
5. Clean out your gutters and check your downspouts.
If your gutters are cluttered with debris, leaves, garbage and more, they can’t properly drain water. This is when water backs up onto a property.
Also, make sure your downspouts are in good condition. You don’t want any that are droopy or seem fragile, since those won’t properly direct water away from your property.
6. Put a sump pump in your basement.
If you have a basement, consider adding a sump pump to it, which helps remove accumulated water into a basin.
7. Trim heavy trees.
Full, heavy trees can become much heavier when they’re wet. Trim back branches so that a tree full of raindrops doesn’t come crashing down on your home.
8. Buy a generator.
If there’s a power outage, there’s no telling when power will be restored. Your entire neighborhood may have suffered one, so you can’t rely on stores or neighbors to help you. Buy a generator so you can restore your own power. Without one, you may not have heat or even a way to cook food.
9. Invest in sand bags.
If you live in an area prone to flooding, invest in sand bags and set them up around your property such that they’ll direct water away from your home and toward drainage areas.
10. Inspect your driveway for cracks.
Your driveway should be built to direct water away from your home and into the street. But if you have an old driveway or one that’s suffered a few earthquakes, it may have major cracks. These cracks can let water back up into your basement, so inspect your driveway before heavy rains strike.
11. Stay on top of weather reports.
Even when it seems like the storm has passed, stay up-to-date on weather reports. Don’t go outside until it’s confirmed safe to do so. These reports can also tell you about dangerous aftermath in your community, like fallen power lines or road blockages.
You aren’t entirely helpless in the face of heavy rains. Take these steps so your home will stand a better chance of fending off damage.