Recently, we discussed how to prepare your home for the winter months. While we can always expect and prepare for chilling temperatures, ice and possible snow, we typically are not as proactive when it comes to dealing with unexpected home disasters like floods, fires and hurricanes. This week we take a look at how to be prepared when inclement weather and home disasters strike.
Water damage can wreak havoc on the home’s exterior, interior and even the foundation. A burst pipe or broken drain line can do more damage than you think. In the event of a flood, you should always elevate your furniture and possessions to higher ground to reduce water damage and stains. Seek professional help to drain and remove the water. If the home is not dried out within 24 hours, black mold can set in which can be extremely dangerous to your family.
While we cannot predict home fires, there are many ways we can prepare for them and take safety measures to ensure they do not happen. Sit down and discuss fire safety measures such as not leaving open flames in the kitchen unattended, blowing out candles, unplugging hair tools and other electronics, and increasing each family member’s knowledge of how to handle flammable liquids and materials. Each year, set up a fire escape plan and practice with your family. By planning and practicing what to do and where to go in the case of a fire, you will increase your chances of safety.
Living in Georgia, we understand the negative side effects hurricanes and tropical weather can have on our homes and even our vehicles. While we might expect some flooding, we do not always think about what happens when trees fall due to strong wind and heavy rainfall. For example, a healthy tree can uproot in 40 mph wind and excessive ground water saturation.
Falling trees can cause severe damage to homes in addition to completely destroying nearby cars and power lines. Every six months you should take inventory of the trees around your home. In the Fall and Winter, trees with over-extended limbs can be reduced to help prevent limb breakage and wind-throw throughout the year. A Certified Arborist should always be consulted to prevent use of outdated climbing techniques, excessive cutting and tree decline. In the Spring and Summer, a tree’s health can more easily be assessed while the leaves are on the tree.
If you notice any trees that have died, consult a professional as soon as possible for removal to safely protect you, your family, and your home. Tree removal can be extremely dangerous if not done properly. It is also dangerous if the wood is too deteriorated for safely lowering the pieces in a controlled manner for trees in proximity to your house or other structures on your property.
The effects of hail damage can be expensive as it primarily affects the roof, siding, windows and gutters. When hail hits your roof, it can cause the granules on your shingles to loosen. These granules are meant to safeguard your roof from the sun and precipitation, and granule loss will accelerate the deterioration of your roof because it is no longer protected. One way to determine if your shingles have been damaged is by taking a look at your gutter’s downspouts. If you see roofing granules collecting, your roof has likely been damaged. It is always wise to consult with a reputable professional to evaluate whether your roof has been compromised.
Some damaging effects of hail are not immediately evident and may not cause issues for up to two years after initial damage. If you do find that your roof has been damaged, you can assume that the gutters were damaged as well. To make sure, you should have them evaluated by a professional.
While no homeowner expects to endure a home disaster or damage, call a professional remodeler if you do find yourself looking at home repairs. It can also be a good time to reassess if there are any changes or remodeling you’d like to complete for the house during the process. Contact our professionals to learn more about how our design/remodeling team can help.