Five Natural Threats to Your Home—and How to Thwart Them | Digitized House

Five Natural Threats to Your Home—and How to Thwart Them

Five Natural Threats to Your Home—and How to Thwart Them
Common in Texas hill country summers, storm fronts can bring extremes of wind and rain. Image: Digitized House.
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Thanks to tropical storms and other severe weather patterns, homeowners have many unique obstacles when it comes to home maintenance. These top five natural threats are the weather-related issues you need to know about—plus how to address them and protect your home from potential damages.

1. Shelter From the Storms

Whether it’s severe rain, tornado activity, or even ice that bears down on your home, your roof is your first line of defense. If a roof leak develops, it’s crucial to have the damage repaired promptly. Plus, if you’re preparing to sell your home, Redfin explains that a damaged roof can knock the price down by default. 

If there are still problems after you fix a roof leak or your roof is nearing the end of its life, consider a full roof replacement. After all, homes with well-maintained (or brand-new) roofs tend to sell faster and for more money, and you don’t want to hand the buyer a bargaining chip. 

Metal roof on house, sunny day, blue sky with clouds
Your roof often takes the brunt of severe weather events, so make sure it’s in top condition. Image: Digitized House.

2. Frozen Pipes

As hot as summers can be in much of the country, winters can also be excruciatingly cold. And while your home heating system may provide relief from the frigid air, your pipes are another story. Plumbing that runs underneath your home or even inside the walls can freeze along with exterior temperatures.

Though many parts of the country may infrequently see temps below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, when it does happen, your pipes are at risk of freezing. Similarly, at temperatures below 32 degrees—when water freezes—you can still develop frozen water in exterior pipes, which LiveScience explains can weaken or burst pipes.  

You can avoid frozen pipes by taking preventative steps, like adding insulation to the pipes and keeping your home’s ambient temperature above 55 degrees. Sealing cracks or gaps where cold air gets in can also help avoid frozen water lines. If your pipes freeze in spite of your efforts, the Red Cross recommends running water through the pipes (if possible) to help thaw them faster. 

3. Flooded Basement

When it’s wet outside, flooded basements can be an unfortunate side effect. Storm activity can cause flooding that overwhelms drainage systems and saturates your home’s foundation. To avoid moisture problems in your basement, HGTV suggests measures like sealing gaps between building materials to ensure water-tightness, installing perimeter drains as necessary, and ensuring that landscaping is sloped away from the basement wall to prevent puddling.

4. Hail Damage

Storm shutters, like the metal Bahama shutters from Sun Barrier Products, can be used to protect vulnerable windows in your home. Image: Sun Barrier Products.
Storm shutters, like these metal Bahama-style shutters from Sun Barrier Products, can be used to protect vulnerable windows in your home. Image: Sun Barrier Products.

While hail commonly assaults your home’s roof, there are other ways it can damage your property. You might find that hail bounces off or builds up in your home’s gutters. The weight of piles of ice can pull plastic gutters away from the exterior of the house and causing breakage.

Hail can also knock down satellite dishes, cause damage to AC units, and break windows. If you experience a hailstorm, be sure to check your home all around and address these issues. Plan ahead if possible, by covering vulnerable windows with storm shutters, securing satellite dishes, and making sure gutters remain clear.

5. Siding Rot and Mold

Even if Mother Nature doesn’t send threats of tropical storms and torrential downpours, moisture can work its way inside your home’s siding. Unfortunately, dry rot can wreak havoc on your wooden siding—and cost you a lot of money in repairs.

Though identifying dry rot is part of the challenge, once you accomplish that step, you need to remove the damaged wood. Applying a wood restorer product can help protect existing siding against further damage.

To prevent wood rot, House Logic cautions against leaning objects against the siding and suggests cleaning gutters often to prevent water spillage. Using moisture-resistant siding materials and pre-treating all wood in the initial application with highly weather resistant stains can help avoid future problems.

Your home is your castle, but the weather isn’t always kind to it. Protecting it against inclement conditions is a vital part of safeguarding your investment. Take preventative measures to keep your home in as good condition as the day you bought it.

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Natalie Jones

Natalie and her husband, Jason, recently bought their first home. She hopes to make the process of buying a home less scary for first-timers by sharing what she and Jason have learned along the way. Visit their website at homeownerbliss.info.
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