Living in Texas can mean unpredictable weather. High winds, hail, tornadoes, and hurricanes can cause damage to your home.
It’s important to know what you can do before severe weather hits. Bishop Builders has put together a checklist of important steps to take.
Hurricanes hit the coast from June through November, sending strong winds and heavy rains throughout much of the rest of the state. And tornado season picks up in March and runs strong through August. In North Texas, it’s the tornado season in the spring that brings the worst storms. Springtime means more than just flowers blooming and birds chirping – it also means the possibility of the threat of tornadoes.
Create a Visual Record
Create a visual record of your home, possessions, and important documents using pictures and videos for insurance purposes in case of damage. Be thorough. We suggest taking video of every wall in your home, especially around doors and windows. This will protect you if there are any issues with your foundation due to high winds or a tornado.
Take photos and video of the outside of your home including all exterior walls, windows, doors, and roofing. For valuables, take photos and notes including the approximate value and date purchased. Upload the digital files to the cloud, and/or store them on a portable USB flash drive for redundancy. Here is a helpful Home Inventory Checklist from the Texas Department of Insurance.
Read Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Read your homeowner’s insurance policy carefully and make sure you have a current copy saved as a digital file. You need to ensure that your insurance policy will provide the coverage you need. Specifically check to see what is covered, excluded, and check your deductible.
The Texas Department of Insurance suggests that to be fully protected, your policy should have replacement cost coverage not actual value coverage. Most insurance policies cover “sudden and accidental release of water”. You may want to consider adding flood insurance if you’re concerned that might be an issue for your property.
Any debris left lying around your yard could become a projectile during a tornado. Make sure there are no tree branches near your roof and have any dead trees or dead branches removed. Make sure there are no tree branches near your roof.
Tree branches hanging over your house may damage the roof either by breaking off and crashing into it or by swaying back and forth and scratching off layers of asphalt and gravel.
Clean Out Your Gutters
Another important way to protect your home during storm season is to clean out and inspect your guttering system. If gutters are stuffed with leaves, sticks, and dust, they could back up during a storm and cause a leak.
The water could also cause fascia boards and the edges of your roof decking to rot or mold. If gutters are leaning over, loose, or need more gutter caulk at points, be sure to make all necessary repairs promptly.
Get the Roof Inspected
Roof maintenance is an essential task when it comes to preparing for storms. Getting a roof inspection done in early spring may reveal problems and weak points. It is recommended that a home’s roof is inspected twice a year. Once in the Spring and again in the Fall.
Hiring a roofing professional is the best way to ensure any small problems are addressed before they may cause larger ones, especially with a strong storm. Binoculars can also be used to inspect your roof safely from the ground. Be on the lookout for:
missing, loose, or cracked shingles
shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering
cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes
missing or damaged flashing
rust on flashing
damage to the chimney
Know How to Shut Off the Utilities
In case of a power surge or ruptured gas or water lines, it may be necessary to shut these off. Locate all of your cutoff valves and switches and know ahead of time the tools you may need and the proper steps to take. You can contact your local providers if you need guidance on how to do this.
Secure Outdoor Furniture
Heavy winds can cause items like patio furniture and large toys to damage the exterior of your home. It’s a good idea to anchor outdoor furniture or bring it indoors before a storm hits. You should also move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage.
Move Cars to Safety
Windblown debris during hurricanes and tornadoes can damage your car, so park inside your garage and close the garage door. If you do not have a garage, park your car close to your home on the leeward side of the wind and keep it away from trees and power lines to reduce the risk of damage.
Identify the Safest Rooms in Your House
As part of your overall prevention plan, your family should determine the safest room in the house, usually an interior room without windows.
Keep Electronic Devices Charged
Focus on communication devices in case the power is out after the storm passes. You could also invest in a portable charger or a 12-Volt battery charger that can help you charge your devices from your car if there is a blackout.
We hope this checklist helps you to prepare for the upcoming storm season. Has your home been damaged by a storm? Bishop Builders is ready to help. We offer expert advice and quality, professional construction services.
Contact us at 1-817-221-0873 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on your next home improvement project!