Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Top Tips to Prepare Your North Texas Home for Heavy Rain, Severe Storms, and Possible Flooding

Top 8 Tips For Preparing Your North Texas Home for Heavy Rain, Severe Storms, and Possible Flooding

All this North Texas rain lately has everyone concerned. Whether you think are at risk of flooding or not, it is important to prepare your home and have a plan of action just in case. The lakes are beginning to fill to over capacity and with more rain predicted to be in the forecast, the importance of preparing your home for heavy rain, bad storms, and possible flooding is at an all time high.


1. Clean your rain gutters: Make sure the rain gutters around your house have been cleaned and function properly. Clogged gutters can prevent rain from running off your roof and cause potential leaking in your home. Decaying wood, siding, and other materials, in addition to damaging the outside of your home, can damage the interior of your home as well. Check that the gutters do not have leaks and are tightly sealed. Make sure the gutter runoff has somewhere to go away from your foundation. This helps prevent pooling of water close to your home.


2. Make sure your roof is in good condition: Walk around the outside of your home carefully inspecting your roof for signs that your roof may need some repairing. Look for signs of aging, damage, and sagging. Loose or missing shingles, cracks in the chimney and along the edge of the shingles, holes or rust in the sheet metal, and a part of the roof that looks unusual in comparison to the rest could be warning signs. Be aware of any areas that seem particularly worrisome and that may need a closer inspection. If you have an outdoor shed, make sure the roofing on it is in good condition as well. You can always hire a professional inspector or roofer to assess the damages for you. Clear any debris that may be on your roof off, like fallen branches, leaves, and garbage blown on the roof. Check inside your attic, if you see any light shining through the roof this could be an indication that the waterproof insulation on your roof has been damaged.


3. Fix any leaks in your windows, door, or ceiling: inspect the caulking around your home at least once a year for chips and cracks, which means the caulking is old and needs to be replaced.  Remove cracked and aged caulking and re-caulk around the seals of the window and doors. Replace old or worn weather stripping under the door. Properly sealing the cracks around your home can also help cut back on your electric bill.


4. Maintain the plants around your home: Heavy winds can cause plant limbs to snap, and depending on the weight of the limb can cause serious damage to your home. If lightning strikes a tree and causes a fire, the fire can easily spread to your home. Trimming bushes and tree branches away from your home can help prevent a disaster. Stake bushes and other plants firmly to the ground, this helps prevent the wind from uprooting them, and blowing them into your home. Dead bushes and tree limbs should be removed and are especially hazardous if a fire breaks out. They are also the part of the tree most likely to snap from wind.


5. Lower water levels in pools: with all the extra water we’ve had lately, lowering the level of your pool could prevent overflow, but do not to drain more than a foot of water. The water in your pool helps protect it from damage from debris that may be blown into it.


6. Secure loose items around the yard: Patio furniture, planters, backyard toys and playgrounds, and anything else that may be loose around your home’s exterior should be secured in case of high winds that could possibly blow items into your fence windows or siding and create serious damage. Patio furniture should be stored in a dry area like a shed to prevent heavy rains from damaging the furniture.


7. Check with your home insurance policy to make sure you are covered: Consider the type of coverage you have, what level of damage you are insured for, and that your policy covers you for damages specific to your area.


8. Have an emergency plan: You can never be too careful when it comes to your family’s safety. Many people have been experiencing floods in this weather that never before had any issues with flooding. Be prepared for the worst. Generators can be an expensive but good investment if you are without power. Have bags of sand handy if necessary to soak up extra water. Consider where your family may be when emergency strikes and have a plan of action to bring everyone together and keep safe. Have an emergency kit in case you lose power or have to evacuate.