In the wake of all the windstorms and the forecast calling for yet more wind I pulled up an email I received from Jefferson Livingston at Pillar to Post Inspection Services in regards to tips for getting ready for wind storms.
Most of these items should be checked before a storm but also after to evaluate possible damage caused by the storm. Often the initial damage caused by the storm becomes much more significant if not quickly repaired. Many of these items should be corrected or inspected by a licensed professional as doing so can be hazardous. Work with reputable contractors & ask for references.
-Block your foundations vents but be sure to remove blocks after freezing weather ends.
– Keep water running slightly at sinks to help prevent freezing pipes.
-If you have a vacant home keep the temperature above 55 degrees & cupboard doors open to help prevent freezing pipes.
-Collect any loose items in yard such as toys or lawn chairs that may be blown against a home. Even larger items such as detached sheds or storage buildings may need to be strapped down or anchored.
-Review your fence for loose panels or boards. The wind can further damage these or potentially blow them into the home.
-Have a licensed inspector or contractor check to see that your skylights are properly secured to help avoid having them blow off.
-Have a licensed home inspector or contractor check flue caps & other items on the roof that may come loose during a storm. (Damaged flues can allow carbon monoxide to enter the home which can be deadly)
-Have trees & branches professionally trimmed back from the home & power lines at least six feet to help prevent them from causing damage.
-Have trees around home & other structures evaluated by a licensed arborist to be sure they are healthy & do not pose a threat to the home. (Trees may sometimes appear healthy but have significant rot or disease that may result in fallen branches or entire trees.)
-Have at least a 72 hour supply of food, water, flashlights, batteries, medicine & etc in case of power outages & the potential inability to leave your home due to blocked roads or other issues.(Go to www.redcross.org for more information)
-With a pair of binoculars evaluate the roof for loose or missing shingles. One loose shingle can create a weak spot allowing more damage in future storms not to mention potential leaks.
-Have your chimney professionally reviewed before & after the storm for loose mortar & bricks. Bricks can be blown off damaging more than just your chimney.
-Evaluate your windows for cracks that may grow or possibly lead to shattered windows during a storm. If damaged during the storm cover broken windows or other holes in the home immediately to avoid water damage.
-Be sure all drains & gutters etc are clear to help prevent leaking or flooding.
-After the storm visually check for loose power lines. Do not, under any circumstances, go near downed power lines. Be aware that the ground near downed power lines may also be electrified.
-After the storm, be sure all drains, gutters, & roofing are cleared of debris as this could lead to structural damage. This should be completed by a qualified contractor.
-Remove debris from yard as this can attract insects.
-After the storm check to see that garage doors are not damaged and are safely on their tracks.
Thanks Jefferson for the helpful tips and hints! Stay safe in the wind.