Team Paragon / Paragon Designs

6 Ways to Prevent Storm Damage This Winter

Winter storm damage can cause problems ranging from loss of power to damage all around your home’s exterior and interior. Likewise, a falling tree, frozen gutters, and excessive cold can knock your house out of commission for days or even months as you seek repairs. However, there are many things you can do to prevent storm damage in and around your home.

Following these tips every winter can help you prevent storm damage and protect your property. Preventing storm damage can also help you maintain lower insurance premiums over time and will make your winters far less stressful. So, here’s what you need to know.

1. Clean Your Gutters

Your home’s gutters play an essential role in carrying water away from your home and preventing water from backing up on your roof. Gutters will become clogged over time, and when this happens, it’s critical to clear the clogs as soon as possible. If your gutters aren’t draining correctly, water inside your gutters may freeze and thaw as the temperatures outside freeze and thaw. This in and of itself can damage the gutters severely.

Furthermore, this can also lead to ice backing up on your roof. Ice that builds up on your roof can cause damage under your shingles, leading to attic leaks and roof damage. This is known as an ice dam. One of the best ways to prevent ice dams is to keep your gutters clean. As such, our recommendation is to clean and repair your gutters every fall before winter.

2. Check Your Trees, Clear Errant Branches

Your home’s trees may look strong, but trees can become sick or damaged, and you may not even be able to see that it’s happening. Unhealthy trees can be dangerous during winter storms and may drop branches or even fall down entirely during high winds and ice storms.

A landscaping professional or an arborist can spot diseases and damage that could put your trees at risk this winter. So, have your trees inspected to identify problems. The arborist may recommend cutting down branches or even removing a few trees altogether.

If you’re going to replant a tree later in the year, work with a qualified landscape artist to help you plant species that will look good on your property. Remember to keep new trees far enough away from your home that they won’t become a danger to your property once they grow in size.

3. Get Your Home’s Exterior Repaired

Loose shingles, flaking paint, rotten decking—all of these problems can become a hazard during a winter storm. Check your home’s exterior for signs of a problem and take care of any maintenance as soon as possible. Staying on top of household maintenance can help ensure that your home will be steadfast and durable when the next winter storm occurs.

When you’re inspecting your house for any necessary maintenance, look for the following:

  • Rotten wood on your deck
  • Peeling paint on your home’s siding or exterior
  • Missing or cracked shingles on your home’s roof
  • Missing or cracked siding on your home
  • Damaged foundation, including cracks in the foundation
  • Damaged fencing around your home’s perimeter
  • Sagging on your home’s rooftop
  • Any of the problems above on your home’s detached garage

4. Check and Repair Your Roof

Often, homes need a new roof every 20 or 30 years. When was the last time you replaced your roof? If your roof is two or more decades old, it may need replacement. At the very least, it should be inspected by a roofing professional who can help you decide whether some parts of your roof need to be repaired.

If your roof needs repair or replacement, do that as quickly as possible. Particularly in Minnesota, where heavy snow is expected, roofs that have been compromised by water damage may be more likely to collapse under the weight of heavy snow.

5. Secure Your Yard Furniture

Yard furniture can sustain a lot of damage if it’s left outside in the winter, but that damage can be sped along by severe temperatures, ice, falling debris, and fiercely blowing wind. We recommend putting your patio furniture indoors if inclement weather is on the horizon.

If you can’t put your patio furniture inside, secure it to prevent it from blowing around, and drape it with canvas or a cover that’s specifically shaped for your patio furniture. Doing this will prevent storm damage to your yard furniture and also potentially avoid damage to your home. Remember, if your patio furniture is able to blow around, your home could also become damaged.

6. Insulate and Heat Your Home

Another way that homes can sustain storm damage is when plumbing freezes and pipes burst. Keeping your home’s HVAC system running throughout the winter, even when you’re not there, can help prevent this from happening. The standard recommendation is to keep your home’s furnace set to at least 55 degrees when you go away for extended periods. Additionally, have your home’s furnace serviced by a professional every year to ensure that it can effectively help prevent storm damage.

You can also help prevent storm damage by properly insulating your home. If you have an older house, it may not be as insulated as modern building codes often require. So, work with an experienced contractor to improve the insulation in your home, especially around the exterior walls, where pipes can be particularly exposed to cold air. Weatherstripping around your house can help with this as well.

What to Do If Your Home Sustains Storm Damage

Your home is your most significant investment, and it’s too important and too valuable to let storm repairs go. If your home sustains storm damage, it’s vital to work with a reputable and experienced Minneapolis contractor for repairs—one like Paragon Designs!

When you hire our experts at Paragon Designs to repair your home from storm damage, we can help you with everything from fallen trees to destroyed landscaping, damaged roofs, and damaged gutters in Minneapolis and the surrounding area. We repair storm damage yearly and will happily help restore your home to its original beauty.

So, if you need repairs in preparation for the next storm or the most recent storm has damaged your home, call Paragon Designs today to make an appointment for a consultation.

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