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How Can I Protect My Home From Storm Damage?

Home Insurance

By Joanne Lemna | September 15, 2017

With natural disasters catastrophic storms and monstrous tornadoes making frequent appearances on the news it’s no wonder many Albertans are thinking about how to protect their homes from the destructive forces of nature. While you can’t prevent all damages there are some steps that you may want to take to help lessen the impact of these storms.

When Facing the Threat of a Tornado—What Should You Do?

An ominous funnel cloud is enough to raise anyone’s heart rate whether you’re in the country the suburbs or in the heart of a city downtown core. Strong winds and tornadoes can cause great amounts of damage and their path is difficult to predict. There are some measures you can take to protect your home from the impact of this type of storm:

  • Board up the doors and windows . Glass is highly vulnerable due to the wind and everything it tosses around. Shattering glass can harm you and allows wind and rain to get into your home causing additional damage.
  • Brace your garage door. This area is also susceptible to wind damage. Brace the door from the inside both vertically and horizontally to help stabilize it.
  • Choose the right roofing. Talk to local professionals about the best options for roofing and ensure your roof is in good repair.
  • Keep your trees in order. Low-hanging or dead trees and branches can cause significant damage in high winds and also be tough to clean up after the storm.
  • Secure your property especially anything that can easily blow away. Alternatively, move everything inside.

What to Do If You’re Faced with Flash Flooding?

Water is certainly a powerful force and one Canadians have experienced over the past few years. Flash flooding is particularly dangerous as there can be little warning. Here’s what you can do to help mitigate the damage:

  • Ensure your gutters are clean and you have an adequate draining system around your house. Water should drain away!
  • Install a sump pump. Sump pumps help pump water away from the house. You can get a generator or water- or battery-powered backup sump pump to ensure it will keep working even if the power goes out.
  • Install vents in your basement or crawl space. There are vents that can be cut into the basement and/or crawlspace of a home that is specifically designed to help mitigate issues of flooding. They allow water to pass through so that it does not build up within the house. This is a popular option for those who live near bodies of water.
  • Install a flood barrier system. A flood stop barrier system replaces the old school sandbag method of preventing water from entering your home.
  • Install backflow valves to help prevent sewer backup in your home.

Protecting Your Home From Damaging Hail

While perhaps not as treacherous as a tornado or flood hail storms are quite common and can significantly damage your home and vehicles. Here are some ways to help prevent hail damage:

  • Windows can be particularly vulnerable to hailstorms so try to shutter or cover them to protect your glass.
  • Cover or move items inside like patio tables cars bikes or anything you wouldn’t want to be damaged by hail. The cover keeps it safe. If you don’t have a garage you can invest in hail protection technology for your vehicle.
  • Keep your gutters clean and ensure your home has good drainage.
  • Maintain your trees to prevent branches from breaking and damaging your home.
  • Choose hail resistant roofing materials. Asphalt and wooden shingles perform decently in hail storms while slate and concrete tiles hold up very well.
  • Choose an exterior finishing that will help protect your home. While inexpensive and customizable vinyl siding is easily damaged by hail.  Certain metal wood and fibre cement sidings offer better protection while brick stucco and stone are the best choices for storm protection.

Storms are never fun to go through and their effects can be severe. Be sure you have an emergency kit ready and an evacuation plan for yourself and your family. Many insurance companies offer additional coverage when it comes to storms and flooding. Talk to your insurance broker about what your home insurance policy covers and what options are available to you.

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