Heavy rains have already hit San Diego and it’s likely that more will be on the way for the spring season. What can you do to prepare now and in the future to protect your home from water damage? Here are ten tips you need to follow so your home is storm-ready.
Check your home insurance policy
Talk with your insurance company about what your policy covers and what it doesn’t. Make sure you have flood insurance. Most home policies do not have flood coverage and flooding has been a big problem in the region.
Check your roof regularly
At least twice a year, go onto the roof to check for damage, loose fittings, corrosion, and other problems. If you have roof clips, make sure those are on tight.
Clean your gutters
While you’re up there, give your gutters and downspouts a good cleaning. You need them clear to channel water away from your home. This is necessary to keep your foundation and basement dry.
Remove any threatening branches
Even a palm branch can crack your roof and let storm water come in. Cut away any branches that might threaten to fall on your house. Branches already touching the house are also dangerous. Storm winds can push them and pull up roofing material in the process. And if you have a dead tree that could fall, get rid of that as well.
Check for termites
Termite tunnels don’t just let bugs in. They also let water in where it can rot wood from the inside. If you have termite-damaged wood, get it replaced before it rots away.
Learn how to turn off your utilities
In a flood emergency, you’ll need to know how to shut off your utilities for safety, especially the electricity. Know how to do this quickly if you need to evacuate. Gas, electricity, and water should all be shut off.
Keep important items in a high place
If you live in a place where flooding is likely, make a habit of storing valuable goods in high locations. This will reduce the chance of losing something important if your home floods.
Have a storm emergency plan
You may need to evacuate your home or shelter-in-place with a severe storm. Make sure you have a plan. Keep fresh water on hand in case water supplies get contaminated and you have to stay. Know where you need to know if you have to leave and keep a hand-crank radio so you can get updates.
Test your sump pump
If water does get in, it will want to go into your basement. Your sump pump is the last line of defense. Make sure it works by regularly testing it and the battery backup. The batteries will keep it pumping in case of a power outage or if you have to leave.
Put shutters/screens on your windows
Storms and storm debris can blow out windows and let water inside. You can purchase screens and shutters designed for storm protection to keep your home safe. Make sure you know how to install and lock them before a storm is on the way.
If you follow these tips, your home will be ready for just about any storm you’re expected to see in San Diego.
Michael is the head of public relations department at ServiceProsLocal.com with primary focus on customer satisfaction. His main talking points are water damage restoration, environmental friendly house building and plant cultivation.