2017 is bringing its fair share of stormy weather, from hurricanes battering coastlines to tornadoes carving up the Midwest. Driving rain, high winds and occasional hail have pounded homes across North America and promise to keep up the trend until winter weather arrives.
Modern home construction is designed to stand up to the elements, so there’s a good chance your home will survive most storms unscathed. But on a long enough timeline, your home will eventually suffer some type of damage from a severe storm, and minimizing the damage begins with early detection.
If a storm blows through your town, wait for conditions to become safe, then step outside to conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior. Should you spot damage, contact the appropriate repair professional immediately to prevent water damage and other household hassles.
Hit the Roof
One of the first areas to check for damage is your roof, since it’s completely exposed to the elements and storm damage outside could quickly lead to costly water damage inside. Start with a visual inspection from the ground, looking for gouges, missing shingles, drooping gutters or fallen tree branches.
If you can’t see your entire roof from the ground and you have a suitable ladder, consider safely erecting the ladder to get a better look. But be careful setting up a ladder on wet soil, which could sink. You should also avoid walking around on a wet roof to avoid slipping.
Next, check for leaks indoors on the top floor of your home. If necessary, remove ceiling drop tiles to verify whether water is leaking in at the roofline above. If you encounter any signs of damage inside or out, contact a trusted contractor right away -- with a roof breach, your home is at the mercy of the elements!
Another Brick in the Wall
While inspecting your home’s exterior, pore over the walls and windows carefully. Check for any signs of impact damage from hail, tree limbs or debris.
As with your roof, damage of this variety can create a breach that will lead to much bigger problems down the road. If moisture has an opportunity to seep in through the walls, it could cause mold growth and ruin your insulation. Deal with any exterior damage immediately.
Keep Your A/C in Shipshape
If you have central air conditioning, it’s especially important that you check out your outdoor unit. Hail, strong winds and fallen branches can disconnect power lines, crush coil fins and cause other forms of damage.
When evaluating your air conditioner for potential damage, it’s helpful to be aware of the terms of your system’s warranty, if it’s still covered by one. Manufacturer’s warranties may cover routine damage, so long as you have documentation of the damage. Take lots of pictures and keep detailed records of any conversations with company representatives to bolster any claims you might make.
And if you do notice obvious storm damage to your outdoor HVAC system, reach out to your expertly-trained HVAC technicians to discuss repair options right away.