This weekend was the fifth anniversary of the devastating tornadoes that hit Tupelo. For those that went through it, remember as if it was yesterday. Even those that were not in the direct path were without electricity for over a week.
North Mississippi residents should watch for not only tornados in the spring but also hurricanes in the summer and fall months.
Storm damage is all too common; each year, countless homes suffer damage from storm-related incidents. Reducing your risk of damage, believe it or not, is not complicated; many of these tips are a simple matter of common-sense upkeep of your home and yard.
So put on your work clothes or call your contractor – storm season has started, and these tips will protect your home from a multitude of storm-related damage risks such as water damage, fires, and power outages.
We are all guilty of putting this task off; who wants to spend the afternoon up on a ladder scooping out decomposing leaves?
You do. Clogged gutters cause stormwater to overflow to the ground below next to the foundation, saturating the soil and possibly penetrating your home’s foundation. A buildup of water in the gutters can also cause water to seep into the attic, damage walls, and the insulation.
Don’t forget to check downspouts for clogs; use a garden hose to flush them with water.
Sounds too difficult? Hire a pro to do it; you will pay much less for this service rather than pay for water damage that may occur once the gutters are clogged.
Trimming tree branches hanging over your house will reduce their weight and the likelihood of them breaking during a storm. Make sure any remaining limbs are at least 4 feet above the roof to discourage critters from climbing onto your roof and trying to find a way into your attic.
A French drain is a lightly sloped trench with a pipe in the bottom that diverts water from the house. The pipe is covered with gravel to create a natural appearance that adds beauty to your landscape. Having a French drain ensures that water from heavy storms will drain away from the house quickly to prevent flooding.
French drains can be deep or shallow, depending on the amount of water you need to divert. Our friends at Cornerstone Landscaping can tell you more about French drains; please contact them if you want this job handled by a professional.
Investing in a generator will prevent loss due to spoiled food caused by power outages. It can also minimize the inconvenience that storm-related power outages cause. For people who need to power medical equipment, it is especially critical.
Generators come in both portable and standby varieties and various wattage, so you will need to balance the amount of power you need with the amount you want to spend.
Well-maintained yards are not just attractive, but they also reduce the risk of fire. By removing dead foliage, dry leaves, and dead wood and adding stone features such as patios and walkways, you reduce fuel for any fires a storm can trigger.
We all know that high winds can cause damage to a house. But did you know that impact-resistant doors, windows, and garage doors can help protect your house from storm damage? On top of that, some insurance companies offer a discount on your home insurance rates if you install them.
Bonuses of impact-resistant windows and doors include protecting your house from break-ins, stopping warm or cool air from escaping (which saves you money on heat and A/C bills), and reducing outside noise.
Annually, reviewing your homeowner’s insurance is a must-do. Each year make a list of any updates, or home improvements you have done and look at your coverage amounts to make sure they are high enough to allow you to rebuild your house in case of a disaster. Also, check to make sure you have insurance that covers flood damage.
It is essential to prepare for when fires do happen. Doing so will save your life and minimize potential damage.
Fire extinguishers can deteriorate over time. Check each extinguisher to ensure the locking pin is in place and that the pressure gauge is indicating full pressure. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher on each floor, it’s time to go shopping!
At the same time, put a new battery in each smoke detector in the house and write the date on it with a sharpie. Many people lose their lives each year because the smoke detector did not go off due to a dead or removed battery.
Be mindful of your plant choices when landscaping close to your house. Specific plants contain wax, terpenes, or oils in their stems and are very flammable, such as hollies, eucalyptus, pine, and junipers.
If you live in a wildfire-prone area, landscape with fire-resistant plantings such as boxwood, azaleas, hydrangeas, and burning bushes (no pun intended!). Succulents, such as sedum, are good choices as they have high water content, which makes them less flammable. For more fire-smart planting ideas, visit www.firewise.org.
If you use bark mulch, make sure you keep it moist as it is highly flammable. Safer mulching choices would be gravel, decorative rock, or rock/bark combinations.
Absolute Cleaning and Restoration has extensive experience cleaning up homes from storm damage, whether it is flooding or fire.
Customers keep returning to Absolute Cleaning and Restoration because of the quality service we provide at reasonable prices. Previous clients know that our company truly cares about each of our clients and continue to recommend us to others. People know we are a locally owned and family run business that will always be here to take care of our customers – give us a call today at 662-760-4348.