Preparing the Outside of Your Home for Summer Storms

Jun 23 2014

A thunderstorm growing over Minnesota.

Summer is the season for thunderstorms. High winds and rain are becoming more common across the U.S as summer comes into full force. Preparing the outside of your home for severe weather is an important way to protect your own property and those around you. This often involves considering how your home is landscaped and making adjustments in the landscaping materials around the outside of your home. You may also need to perform some maintenance on trees and protect the roof and other structures to prepare for a severe storm. Here are a few tips on preparing the exterior of your home for summer storms.

Trim Trees & Address Landscaping

A pair of cutters being used to trim some tree branches.

Tree branches and certain kinds of landscaping materials can cause serious damage during high winds. If you have large trees in your yard and large branches that could potentially detach and cause damage during a storm, make the effort to trim the trees and attempt to remove some of the risk of damages from nearby trees. Examining and making adjustments to landscaping may be a good idea as well. Gravel landscaping can become airborne during extremely high winds and cause damage to the exterior of your home and nearby structures. If you can, consider replacing loose rocks with wood chips or a mulch to prevent potential damages during storms.

Protect Windows and Structures

A window covered in snow and ice.

Taking measures to protect the exterior of your home and other structures nearby is an important step in preparation for severe weather. Protecting doors and windows is the most pressing concern when planning for high winds and debris, but take into account roofing as well. Inspect the shingles for damages and replace or secure any loose shingles. Also, check ventilation hardware and any telecommunications equipment like satellite dishes and antennas for secure attachment. It often takes tornado force winds to do serious damage to these items on the roof, but less extreme winds can still rip off shingles, blow debris around, and cause larger items around the yard to become airborne projectiles that can break windows and damage exterior structures.

Relocate Items Outdoors

A small patio set outside on a sunny day.

If you have large items outdoors such as furniture, tools, or certain types of equipment, relocate these things in anticipation of a storm. High winds and rains can damage these items and should be covered, tied down, or relocated into a safe enclosed structure prior to a storm. Securing items when reasonable and relocating them entirely when necessary is the best way to ensure that these items are not damaged during a storm or cause damage during extreme winds.

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