Preventing Summer Storm Damage

By Francesca Stygar, Special to the Akron Beacon Journal/

Residents of Northeast Ohio are no strangers when it comes to sudden summer storms, but a lot of homeowners may still find themselves worried for the day that one does serious damage to their property. Thankfully with a little basic exterior maintenance, many homes can be made relatively storm proof. Siding, roofs, windows, gutters, and anything else that makes up the part of the home that directly interacts with the outside can easily be inspected and taken care of with just a few things in mind.

Jerry McCurry at Buxton Roofing says that a major potential problem area that homeowners need to keep their eye on is the gutter. He encourages people to stick their heads in (yes, really) and clean out any dirt or debris such as leaves on a regular basis to deter any issues.

“Nine times out of ten you’ll cause more damage just trying to clean all that buildup out,” says McCurry. “It’s better to take care of it now and let it all drain.”

Other things to look out for include loose siding, unsealed doors, and drafty windows. Just taking a quick walk around the house can check most of these, but hired professionals such as those at Buxton Roofing can also be asked to do an evaluation. However minor these problems may be, getting them inspected and repaired can save homeowners hundreds of dollars on gas and electric bills throughout the year.

If your home needs exterior repair, make sure that it gets done while the weather is still moderate. Broken windows, cracked siding, or missing roof shingles are ineffective when it comes to keeping the harsh storm weather out. Fences are also common victims of intense winds that can cause real damage to your yard and house if segments go flying in the wind. You can help prevent them from being blown open or apart by making sure that they’re anchored properly into the ground and that the door hinges aren’t loose or rusty. If the entire fence is in disrepair, now might be the right time to have it replaced with a sturdier new one.

In addition, there are a few cosmetic touch-ups that homeowners can do that will properly protect the exterior of their home. If you have vinyl siding, now is the time to get it pressure washed in order to remove any clinging dirt or fungus. Wooden decks should also be professionally cleaned and sealed to prevent mold buildup. Hammering down loose nails will ensure that individual planks don’t warp, and checking the galvanized fasteners will ensure maximum safety standards are being upheld.

Nobody wants to be caught with rainwater seeping through the roof or severe storm damage this summer so the key to maintaining a secure home lies in being thorough with your maintenance. If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not something needs done, there are always local professionals that you can hire to give you their opinion.