Does it seem like the storms that hit during the summer are stronger than in other seasons? The violent nature of summer storms is mostly caused by changing wind speeds and air temperature. It is easy to think of thunderstorms as not as big of a threat as other storms but they can be pretty severe, especially when they occur before a cold front. The mixture of warm, moist air from a thunderstorm and cold high pressure air results in violent storms with strong winds, thunder, lightning, and possibly hail. Thunderstorms also create the conditions for tornadoes to form. The wind rises in height before a thunderstorm and starts spinning horizontally and when wind from the thunderstorm rises up, it tilts the rotating air vertically which can result in a tornado. How well will your home endure a severe summer storm? The best way to reduce summer storm damage is preparing in advance and knowing how to properly respond when a significant weather event occurs.
Homeowners should have their property ready for the possibility of a storm to prevent any potential damage but even with good preparation, severe enough weather can cause significant storm damage. Here are things you can do to protect your property.
Insurance: Make sure you have the right insurance to protect you from severe weather – including wind damage, fire caused by lightning, and water damage from flooding.
Roof: Check your roof for leaks, and shingles that are buckling, curling or blistering. Loose material or wear around chimneys, pipes and other penetrations.
Trees: Keep all of your trees well maintained and secure. Any trees that are in poor condition should be cut down and take time to cut out tree branches and limbs that may cause damage to your house caused by lightning or strong winds. If you have trees that could pose a potential problem during a summer storm, you may want to consider having them removed especially if they are close to the house.
Lawn: Keep your lawn free of broken branches and other similar debris. If you can secure your lawn and patio furniture, a patio table could do a lot of damage if a big gust of wind picks it up and tosses it through a window. Pick up all toys and pool chairs and put them in the pool house or garage at the end of each day. If you get a severe storm during the night or while you are at work, you will be glad you picked up everything. If you know a storm is coming be sure to remove any garden and lawn decorations, securing them inside.
Gutters: Check to make sure your gutters are not full of debris and leaves. A blockage can cause water to pour over the sides of the gutter and pool around the foundation. The water can cause cracks to form and damage the foundation and can cause mold growth.
Generator: Consider purchasing a generator to provide electricity for your home during a storm or other power outage, consider installing a whole house standby generator which turns on automatically whenever the power goes off. If you decide on a portable generator, only use it outdoors in an open, well ventilated area. Do not run a generator in a garage, storage shed, or near windows or doors.
Windows: Make sure that your windows are good and secure and that there are no areas in which water can get inside them. If your windows are older you may consider replacing them.
Emergency Kit: In the event of a disaster, electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. Assemble a simple collection of basic items you may need. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours.
The Aftereffects of Severe Storms
When storm damage occurs to your home or property, it is important to act quickly to have your home stabilized and restored. Ignoring storm damage will just make matters worse.
Flooding does far more damage than just soaking the carpet or ruining your upholstered furniture. Excess water can cause a range of problems such as rusting, corrosion of electrical components, and auxiliary damage to clothing, wallpaper, drapes, furniture, important documents, and other objects. Water and flood damage should never be taken lightly, even if the problem does not seem severe, because of how quickly it can spread and cause mold growth. When flooding occurs, stay out to stay safe. Even if it looks safe from the outside, entering the home can potentially result in injury or even death from electrical or structural hazards. Leave it to professionals with the expertise to determine if and when you can enter your home. Get an assessment from qualified and expertly trained cleaning and restoration company. Even minor damage can worsen over time, causing later risks to your family and more serious damage to your home.
Mold is more dangerous than many people likely realize. Even when minor flooding occurs, mold has the potential to spread throughout your home, causing significant damage. Worse yet, mold causes a wide variety of illnesses and can even result in death. Just because you cannot see mold does not mean it is not there. When summer storms cause flooding or water damage anywhere inside or outside your home, mold can grow. Wherever leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, mold spores will grow. If you try to clean mold yourself, you risk not thoroughly cleaning all areas damaged by mold. If a source of moisture still exists, mold can recur again and individuals can still suffer the health effects of the mold. Contact a professional who has experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
Wind is the most common cause of storm damage as it can destroy the exterior of the home such as the siding, roofing, and windows. Wind damage can happen to your home directly from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house. Many times wind damage can go unnoticed. If roof shingles come loose, rain can infiltrate into the protective surface of the roof. As the home owner looks where the damage is, they may find that no shingles are missing, but in other spots they may find a shingle or two gone. The problem with unresolved wind damage is that it can be a breeding ground for mold. The most common sign is in the form of water stains on ceilings and walls.If wind damage is severe enough, it can also threaten the structural stability of your home. It is very important to call a restoration professional after your home sustains severe structural damage for building stabilization and board up services. Stabilizing the building is an important first step in the storm damage restoration process for preventing any further damage.
Homeowners should be ready for severe storms this summer and take immediate action if their home sustains any type of storm damage. Make sure to call your insurance agent to report a loss and call Xtreme Home Improvement to save time and money on the process. We’re Central PA’s leading provider of storm damage, clean up and restoration services for residential and commercial properties. We can assess the specific situation, stabilize your home to prevent further damage, remove any excess water or mold growth, and repair or restore damaged structural elements. Don’t get caught in the storm this summer, make sure your home is ready to handle the worst.