Five Easy Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Spring Storm Season

02B66528Spring thunderstorms can wreck havoc on northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin properties. While there's no way to avoid this annual onslaught of severe weather, there are a number of easy and affordable things that homeowners can do to help protect their homes and landscaping from damage.

How to Protect Your Property from Spring Storm Damage

  1. Trim your trees and large bushes.
Getting rid of weak branches early in the season can help prevent those limbs from ending up on your roof (or worse, through your window) during a severe spring storm.
  1. Check your roof's flashing.
Flashing, the metal pieces that protect the seams of your roof around vents and chimneys, is more likely to become unattached than your shingles. It's a good idea to check these areas and reattach or replace any damaged or loose flashing you find.
  1. Be slow in putting out lawn furniture and other accessories.
Chairs and other lawn accessories can get blown against your house during a spring thunder storm. A better plan is to wait until later in the spring to open your outdoor deck and porch. If you want to sit outside on an unseasonably warm day, just remember to take your chair back inside with you.
  1. Use wood mulch instead of stones.
While stones may look sleek in your garden beds, they can quickly turn into projectiles during a spring storm. Better to stick with shredded or chipped bark as mulch for your vegetable and flower gardens.
  1. Secure your gutters.
It's also important to make sure that your drainage system -- your gutters and downspouts -- are securely attached to your home and clear of any debris. A clogged gutter can cause water to enter your home during a storm and a loose drainpipe can bang against your siding causing damage. In addition to preparing your home, it's imperative to have an emergency plan in the event that you need to seek shelter or evacuate your home. Such a plan should also include a way to reach family members who are away from your house during an emergency. The American Red Cross website offers good information on how to create such a plan and what items you should stockpile for an emergency. While there's no way to stop spring storms from battering the Midwest, you can help your home to weather the storm by keeping your trees and bushes well trimmed, inspecting and repairing your roof's flashing, and securing your gutters.
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