This Is How You Can Effectively Protect Your Home from Nature’s Wrath
Article written by Natalie Jones of http://homeownerbliss.info/
Housing could be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. And just as well! Not only is your home a place to create priceless memories, but it also keeps you and your family warm, dry, and secure. In short, it’s literally your shelter from the storm.
Naturally, you’ll want to protect this investment just like it protects you, but that’s easier said than done when you have Mother Nature to contend with. In this case, the more you know, the better it is to fix — or better yet, prevent — weather-related problems.
What You’re Up Against
Your home is a sentinel, but it’s one that’s constantly at the mercy of the elements. With rising sea levels and a changing climate, it’s alarming to note that standing structures like houses are being battered by nature now more than ever. In fact, storm-related damage to real estate in the US alone reached an all-time high in 2017 and is only projected to keep increasing.
Today, the most common home insurance claims stem from weather-related damage. Depending on where you are, these may include but are not limited to:
Winter storm and freezing weather damage that could result in frozen water pipes or heavy snow and ice build-up on the roof.Flood and water damage that could overwhelm structures or, at the very least, cause the degradation of support beams, drywall, and foundations, as well as mold growth.Hail damage that could result in cracked roof shingles and bent roof vents and pipes (at best) or serious roof leaks (at worst).Wind that could cause structural damage to roofs, windows, and sidings, as well as fallen trees and poles. Lightning and thunderstorms that could damage steel framework, wiring, and more.Fire damage from wildfires and lightning.
Of course, most weather-borne issues are covered by home insurance. However, it’s often not without caveats that could work out to be more trouble than it’s worth. With that in mind, prevention is still infinitely better than finding a cure.
What You Can Do
To put it bluntly, your home needs to be equipped to withstand nature’s worst. The sad reality is that most people end up finding this out the hard way. The fact is most weather-related damage can actually be prevented long before it occurs, and taking certain measures like the following can save you heartache and inconvenience.
1. Regular Inspections
Wear and tear is real, especially to a house that’s constantly exposed to the elements. However, damage, decay, and degradation are often not apparent at first glance, which is why a regular audit of your home is needed.
A great way to go about a home inspection is to have a handy checklist to help you determine what to look out for. Most of the time, this is structural in nature. Your roof, in particular, needs the most attention as it always bears the brunt of weather damage, so make sure to have it thoroughly inspected for loose shingles, small punctures, hairline cracks, and more (a professional inspection can run you $200 - $700). You should also pay close attention to any branches that could fall on your home. It’s also worth remembering that if you’re currently selling your home or plan to in the future, a damaged roof will factor into how much a buyer will be willing to pay for your home.
2. Regular Maintenance and Repairs
It’s a hard fact that home insurance claims can be rejected if a house was already in a poor state prior to a weather incident. It’s extremely important, therefore, to stay on top of upkeep.
As a rule of thumb, maintenance should be performed several times a year and even the slightest damage should be acted upon right away. Not only does this prevent problems from escalating, but more importantly, it affects the value of the home. So if you have plans of selling your home in the future, especially in a highly competitive market, simply keeping up with maintenance and repairs will be a factor in getting you the best possible offer.
In truth, you can’t avoid force majeure, but you and your home don’t have to suffer from it either. By respecting nature and preparing for its might, you not only get peace of mind, but you also get to keep your safe haven truly safe.
Natalie and her husband found the homebuying process to be incredibly overwhelming, but definitely a learning experience. Natalie hopes to help other first-time buyers by sharing her knowledge.