The spring season gives Mother Nature a chance to truly shine. Flowers bloom, grass grows, and new leaves emerge from budding trees. As the weather warms, you can finally ditch your winter jacket and pull the shortsleeved t-shirts from your closet.
Mother Nature often has more in store for Ohio and Kentucky residents than blossoms and birds. Almost every year, spring storms bring hail stones and flash floods. In extreme cases, the water rises several feet, sweeping away anything in its path.
Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your property against the worst of the damage. With a few repairs and minor investments, your home will have a greater chance of weathering the weather.
1. Replace Missing Shingles
Winter storms and winds wreak havoc on your roof, loosening fasteners and ripping away shingles. Though your home can cope with a few missing shingles during good weather, those gaps in your roof leave you vulnerable when more intense weather blows in.
As water works its way into the holes in your roof, you’ll soon have to cope with bubbling paint, darkened plaster, and mold growth. If left unchecked, your leaky roof may also contribute to damaged rafters and weakened ceiling joists, compromising your home’s structural integrity.
So, hire a professional to repair your roof and replace shingles as needed. If your roof is older than 20 to 25 years, consider replacing the roof in its entirety.
2. Update Your Windows
Windows often represent the weakest part of your home. As temperatures change from season to season, the frames and glass expand and contract, resulting in cracks and gaps.
If you have a low-sitting window and window well, these cracks and holes allow water to pour through and flood into your basement. Any lingering moisture can also contribute to mold growth and the surrounding wooden frame may rot.
To keep out water and seal your home, talk to a contractor about updating your windows, especially if your windows are older than 20 years. As you shop for replacements, ask about cellular vinyl window frames, as they do not absorb moisture and won’t rot like their wooden counterparts. Furthermore, look into storm glass or glass block windows for extra protection.
3. Install New Siding
Your siding does more than bring your home’s aesthetic together. Rather, its primary purpose is to protect your home from the elements, including snow, hail, ice, and rain.
Poorly installed siding allows water to seep in between the panels, and some siding materials inhibit water from evaporating, trapping the moisture against your home and encouraging mold growth and rot.
As you prepare for floods and storms, bring in a siding expert to inspect and repair your siding as needed. Replace any dented, warped, or damaged panels, and make sure the siding completely covers the joints on your home.
As with your windows and roof, consider replacing the siding entirely if it’s older than 20 years. Choose vinyl siding if possible, as vinyl doesn’t warp, rot, or crumble when exposed to rain and floodwater.
4. Clean Gutters, Downspouts, and Window Wells
After repairing or replacing your roof, windows, and siding, you may want a more affordable way to protect your home from floods and water damage. Fortunately, one of the best home improvements you can make doesn’t cost a cent: spring cleaning.
Your window wells and gutters are designed to redirect water away from your home. But when dirt, leaves, branches, and other debris accumulate, they can lead to clogs and prevent water from properly draining. During spring showers and storms, the water may pool and eventually leak into your home.
To keep your home safe, regularly inspect and clean your gutters, downspouts, and window wells. Consider installing gutter guards and window well grates to keep out the worst of the debris.
Talk to a Professional for More Tips
These basic tips will help you seal your home and secure it against stormy weather. However, you can take your flood prevention efforts a step further with a little creativity, research, and professional help. Talk to your local contractor about additional ways and products that will keep you safe despite the storms.