Spring has officially sprung in in Ohio, which means it’s time to bring out the patio furniture and fire up the grill. Warmer temperatures have brought the area relief from the harsh winter, but it also means Ohio residents must prepare for spring storms. April has already made good on its promise to bring more rain and the possibility of severe weather. Being prepared is essential to keeping your home and family safe – check out our tips.
Because of its rapid temperature changes, spring is one of the most volatile seasons of the year. In Hilliard, Ohio we know that extremes of weather can occur within just a few hours. One minute it is sunny and warm and the next you are taking shelter from another storm. These rapid changes are what encouraged Mark Twain to say, “In the spring, I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”
Most of the season’s most severe weather comes when hot and cold fronts meet, creating the possibility for thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, high winds, and flooding. Advance planning is essential for protecting your property and your health.
Have an Emergency Kit
If you don’t have one already, prepare a kit for weather emergencies. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends including some of the following items:
- An emergency evacuation or shelter plan. Designate a safe meeting point, such as a basement, and ensure every member of the family knows how to get there safely.
- A battery-operated flashlight, weather radio, and backup batteries for each person.
- Important personal information for each family member, such as medical history, telephone numbers, and property and health insurance information.
- A first aid kit.
- Three to five days’ worth of nonperishable food and bottled water.
- Blankets and sleeping bags.
Have a similar kit available in your vehicle, if possible.
Take an Insurance Audit
Spring is the perfect time to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and check your coverage. Will you have temporary shelter available if your home becomes inhabitable? Does your policy cover clothing, furniture, and other belongings in the event of severe weather? Read your policy and decide if you should make adjustments for more comprehensive coverage, as your budget allows.
Torrential downpours leave the area prone to flooding – this is especially true of homes that built in valleys. Water damage is not only costly to repair, it also encourages the growth of mold, which can prove difficult to remove and can be very bad for your health. Consider flood insurance if you live in an area prone to flooding, and take the following steps if floodwaters are already entering your home:
- Move all furniture to higher levels of the house.
- Seal off sewer and water systems to protect your family’s health
- Turn off all utilities.
- Place tape over heating and air conditioning units.
Take Care of Your Exterior
Your home’s first defense is its exterior, which has likely taken some damage during the winter months. Take a few extra steps to secure your home from the outside:
- Walk around your home’s perimeter and examine the windows and doors. Repair caulking and weather stripping as necessary.
- Inspect for missing shingles and replace as necessary. While you’re at it, clean out your gutters and downspouts.
- Check your HVAC systems, replacing filters and performing routine maintenance.
Even if you’re adequately prepared, you can’t prevent severe weather from damaging your home. When it comes time to clean up after storms, heed the following tips:
- Never venture outside until your local weather authority says it’s safe.
- Once outside, look for hazards such as downed power lines, rushing flood waters, and sewage back up. If you notice any, go back inside and notify the appropriate authorities.
- If you have flooding, turn off the power, but only if there isn’t standing water where your main breaker lives. Otherwise, you may be venturing into an electrified pond.
- Consider hiring a professional to help you dry out your home and stave off mold growth.
- Clean up damaged trees. If high winds bring downed branches, clean them up and gather them in one area of the yard. If the damage is extensive or involves large trees, consider hiring a certified tree specialist to take care of the problem.
- Assess damage to your roof. Clean up fallen shingles, and when conditions are safe, you can check for signs it needs repair.
Minimizing damage to your home is possible with the right approach. Follow this checklist for a safe and healthy spring season.
With the arrival of spring you could be at risk of roof leaks or flooding. Able Roof has earned its reputation as the #1 roofing company for central Ohio by providing premium quality products and services with the best customer service in the industry. Even though roof is in the name we do more than just roofing. We are your one stop shop for it all with the highest quality installation and repair on gutters, siding, windows, masonry, and insulation. We even offer free estimates and a lifetime warranty. So worry less by choosing Able Roof to install, fix, and maintain the exterior of your home.