Preventing Summer Storm Damage
Summers are full of vacations, nice weather, and days off, but Long Island still gets bad weather in the summer months. Summer often brings heavy, humid conditions, followed by stormy weather. Moisture and rapidly rising warm air are the key ingredients to the 16 million thunderstorms that occur in the U.S. each year. A summer storm can clear the air and cool things off (at least for a few days), but our storms also provide intense wind, rain, hail, thunder, lightning, and the potential to destroy. Protect your home against damage from summer storms with these suggestions.
A raging summer windstorm can bring down large branches or trees. That’s a threat to your roof, garage, vehicles, power lines, and your family members. Take a walk around your property to check for dead or dying trees and broken or weak branches. Look for loosely attached limbs, rot, disease, or insect infestation. Hire a professional to trim your trees or, if necessary, remove one or more.
Lightning can occasionally cause a power surge. A power surge is an unusually high amount of electricity briefly surging through your home’s wiring. Power surges can ruin or damage your sensitive electronic devices and appliances like computers, digital washing machines, and televisions. To prevent damage, install surge protectors. Do remember that surge protectors are not foolproof. If the forecast for your area includes severe weather, unplug individual devices or power strips from their outlet (rather than just switching them off).
Prepare for the inevitable – summer storms frequently cause regional power outages that may take hours or days for the utility company to fix. To prepare, stock up on emergency lights and non-perishable, ready-to-eat food. Never use fuel-burning devices designed for outdoor use only, such as gas or kerosene grills, inside your home because they produce carbon monoxide, a gas that’s odorless, invisible, and potentially deadly.
In the middle of a roaring summer thunderstorm, you want a good solid roof over your head. Summer storms can knock trees, power lines, or utility poles onto your roof, puncturing the roof or possibly causing structural damage. High winds can make small defects in your roof (like blisters, a missing shingle, or worn flashing) tear away or fail. Inspect your roofing regularly. That means at least twice a year and after any severe weather. Look for buckled, cracked, or missing shingles and other signs of wear and tear. You can inspect the roof pretty well using binoculars and keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground. If you find any damage, prompt roof repair will help keep you and your belongings dry and will help avoid the need for a more serious fix further on down the line.
Water Leaks or Floods
When rain or floodwater get into your home, you risk severe damage to furniture, appliances, and other belongings, not to mention damage to the structure of the house itself. Good preventive measures include sealing any cracks in your home’s foundation and walls, cracks next to windows and doors, and around your chimney and vent pipes. Clear dead leaves or other debris out of your gutters and downspouts, so that even a ferocious downpour will be directed away from the foundation of your home. If you have a basement, guard against flooding by setting up a sump pump.
Cold, snowy winters can wreak havoc on a roof. But please be aware that summer storms – which tend to be fast and fierce – can be as serious as the worst blizzards.
After a Storm
You should inspect your property for any damage following a storm. In particular, you should examine your roof and exterior walls for:
- Debris and pooling water
- Cuts and punctures in the roof membrane
- Edge metal pulled up
- Damaged perimeter flashing
- Missing or damaged HVAC equipment
- Cracks or wear on exterior walls
- Damage to skylights, domes, or windows
For Summer Storm Damage Cleanup, call SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead at (516) 620-4579.
We have specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire damage restoration services, mold remediation, commercial services, and natural disaster cleanup.