The DFW Metroplex boasts hot summers and mild winters. But it’s in spring, when cool fronts from Canada collide with warm, humid air from the Gulf Coast that spring storms can bring pelting rain, hail, thunderstorms with remarkable lightning, and sometimes, tornadoes.
Don’t be the property owner who ends up with a tree in the living room or a flooded basement after a sump pump failure. Here are a few tips to prepare your home before the start of spring storm season.
Don’t wait for spring storms to arrive before you take a good look at your insurance policy to see if it’s an ACV or RCV policy. RCV or replacement cost value means you will be paid out current market value of any loss. ACV stands for actual cash value, not the best because the insurance company only pays for what your property was worth pre storm.
Policy looking good? Great, now put it someplace safe where you can quickly access it should you need to claim.
Inspect the roof
Rooftops are especially vulnerable to the effects of spring storms and their ruthless winds. Shingles, flashing and caulking should all be inspected for weak spots.
Trees take a battering
Inspect the trees in your yard for any indications that a spring storm’s high winds might topple them. Look for a full canopy of leaves, bare branches higher up can be a sign of dieback. In fact, big hollows and dead wood can be an early sign of weakness. Unusual mounds or hillocks on one side of a tree or bare ground could indicate a root problem.
Not sure? Why not get an arborist to give you a consultation? This can often be done for free or at low cost but make sure that your specialist is a qualified arborist.
Don’t forget the gutters
So easy to overlook, but those forgotten gutters are mostly there to protect your siding and foundation from the water damage spring storms can cause. The consequences of dirty gutters and blocked downspouts range from damp, moldy sub-roofing and water damaged siding to basement damage from flooding.
Keep downspouts clean and gutters clear and lead any runoff away from the basement. Grade soft surfaces around the building so water flows away from foundation walls.
Inspect the basement
If you have a basement, protect it from water damage and store cherished items off the floor. If you pack anything there that you care about, old family photos, books or documents, it’s critical to have a battery backup for your sump pump system. All you need is to have a power outage for several hours during or after a major spring storm to see why battery backup is important.
Taking the time now to check these fundamentals and repairing any weak spots will pay back dividends in peace of mind, knowing your home and possessions are secured.