4 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Home From Severe Weather

    Freaky weather happens. Here’s how to protect your home when severe storms strike.

    Brown lawns. Flooding. Broken limbs or downed trees. Topsy-turvy weather can test your patience, and even put your home at risk. If a freak storm drops in our area, will your home be up to the challenge?

    Consider this: the median age for U.S. homes is 37 years — getting up there when it comes to handling severe storms. But a few value-adding improvements provide some peace of mind. Here are five home improvements to consider to protect your investment:

    #1 Get a Cool Roof
    It can make your home more comfortable when the temperatures spike — and reduce your cooling costs. A traditional dark-colored roof can heat up to almost 190 degrees, creating sweltering indoor conditions. A lighter-colored cool roof stays 50 to 100 degrees cooler since it reflects sunlight instead of absorbing heat. As an added bonus, keeping your roof cooler can extend its life.

    #2 Install a Standby Generator
    You’ll have electricity to run essential appliances and your central air system. A standby generator can even reduce your chances of flood damage by keeping your sump pump running.
    Tip: If the price for a whole home system is too high, opt for a portable generator. They are powerful
    enough to keep a few appliances and some lights running.

    #3 Hurricane-Proof Your Home
    Powerful windstorms and hurricanes can cause weak places in your home to fail. Hurricanes are responsible for 8 of the 10 most expensive natural disasters to have hit the U.S. High winds (and water) can wreck your stuff and, worse, rip the roof off your house.

    #4 Retrofit for Flooding
    The best way to physically protect your property from flooding is with a flooding retrofit. FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program have strict guidelines on what would work (and they aren’t cheap).
    Tip: Regular homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. And when you consider that almost 25% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, you may discover you need it. You can find out what your flood risk is at FloodSmart.gov.

    Finally, remember that regular preventative maintenance is the cornerstone of home protection. So if
    you’re not cleaning your gutters or sealing your home against water and air leaks, add-ons won’t make much difference.

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