From frozen pipes during the first winter freeze to collapsed trees during periods of severe wind, there are many ways that severe weather can damage your home. And those damages can lead to substantial costs. According to Fixr, the average cost of weather damage is over $10,000. That's a large chunk of change! And, while insurance will cover some of those costs, homeowners may still have to pay some out-of-pocket.
Over 50% of insurance claims are weather-related, and being weather-vigilant is the easiest way to reduce the probability of having to file an insurance claim. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect your home from weather-related damages.
How to Protect Your Home From Wind
Exterior wind damage makes up 25% of all homeowner's insurance claims. Wind can cause damage in a variety of ways. It can tear down trees on your property, fling outdoor furniture into your walls and windows, blow in your garage door, and tear the shingles right off of your roof.
Luckily, there are a few precautions you can take before that windy storm hits your home. Removing outdoor furniture will ensure that it can't be blown into your home, and reinforcing your garage door can help it handle those aggressive wind blasts. Of course, there isn't much you can do about the wind blowing shingles off of your roof. If your roof does sustain damage in a windy storm, it's imperative that you have it inspected as soon as possible to prevent the damage from spreading. You should keep up with maintenance on your roof and always get it inspected and repaired, especially if you plan to sell your home in the near future. Simply having a well-maintained roof can boost your home’s value (and potentially push it above New York’s average value of $615,000) and help your home sell more quickly.
How to Protect Your Home From Ice & Snow
In 2018, winter-weather storms caused over $2 billion in damages to homes across the United States. Snow and ice can freeze pipes, cause trees to fall and damage your roof or walls, create ice dams that flood the inside of your house, and create power-failure events that can damage electronics and appliances.
Luckily, there are a few ways to prevent winter storms from damaging your home. For starters, you should let your pipes drip during extremely cold weather. This can prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting — which can be an extremely expensive repair. You can also use gutter de-icing kits to reduce the damages from ice dams. And trimming trees can keep them from getting too heavy and falling over onto your home.
How to Protect Your Home From Rain & Flooding
Any type of storm with rain, hail, or snow can bring about flooding. Even wind storms can destroy pipes and cause your home to flood, so this is the second most common (11% of claims) form of home damage. And just a single inch of flooding can cause over $25,000 in damage.
Preventing flooding is tricky. You should start by installing a flood sensor to inform you of any rising water levels. You can also apply a sealant to any cracks in your foundation, walls, or windows. You can also invest in a sump pump to transfer any basement-level flooding back outdoors.
Whether it's winter, spring, summer or fall, weather can take a serious toll on your home. Luckily, there are ways you can prevent severe storms from costing you thousands of dollars and headaches with your insurance company. Remember, make sure to thoroughly inspect your roof after severe weather, monitor your pipes, de-ice your gutters, and consider using a sump pump or flood sensor. It doesn’t take much to be prepared, and all of these efforts can pay off in the end.
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