5 DIY Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Hail Storm
Take These Preventive Measures to Protect Your Home From Hail
Like other forms of severe weather, hail can have dangerous and expensive consequences when it comes to your home, yard, and neighborhood. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a hail storm without taking the right precautions to secure your home and property.
Hailstones vary in size, ranging from pea size to stones as large as a grapefruit. And while hail does occasionally happen all across the country, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the western Great Plains region of the United States is most at risk for dangerous hail storms. That means that residents of cities like Denver, Colorado and Cheyenne, Wyoming should take extra precautions to protect their homes from hail. Here are some tips for battening down your hatches against big hail storms.
Groom Your Yard With Hailstorms In Mind
Trimming dead and dying limbs from the trees in your yard will reduce the chances of a tree limb falling on your home, your neighbor’s home or the power lines near your property. Regularly replace loose gravel and maintain loose pebbles so that they don’t blow around when strong winds hit. HGTV recommends covering plants and crops with makeshift canopies.
If you have plants and flowers located near a fence or wall, you can protect them by leaning a sheet of plastic or wood against the wall, with room for the plants to sit under the cover. Buckets can also be placed over freestanding plants to help protect delicate leaves from intense hailstones.
Keep a Space to Store Outdoor Valuables When You Hear of an Impending Storm
When hail is in the forecast, bring expensive and valuable things like your cars and bikes into the garage or underneath another protective overhang. You will also want to bring lawn mowers, porch and patio furniture, and other outdoor accessories to a covered area such as a garage or portico.
If you live in a high-risk part of the country, it may be a good idea to get hail storm insurance for added protection in case some of your belongings become damaged in a storm.
Fortify Your Doors, Windows, and Walls
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has a great list of resources for ways you can protect your home against hail and strong winds. The list includes reinforcing garage doors with wind retrofit hardware and installing shingles that have been rated safe for strong winds.
Consider Investing in Storm Ready Shingles and Windowpanes
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes has recommendations for the best kind of storm-ready shingles, as well as other storm mitigation techniques. Making sure that the curtains on the inside of your windows are thick and strong is a good extra security measure to take if you are worried that the storm may cause window damage.
Make Sure to Have a Plan in Place
Identify the safest area of your home – Mother Nature Network suggests choosing a hallway, basement, bathroom, or other small areas without windows. Stay in-the-know by following weather updates and emergency evacuation alerts, too. Note your evacuation routes, and decide whether you will need a ladder or rope in the event that an emergency evacuation does become necessary.
When it comes to extreme weather, the best thing you can do is be prepared. In addition to prepping your home and property for the damage that can be caused by hail, be sure to have a plan set for you and your family to get to safety should the need arise.