Severe storms can come at any time in Texas, but risks run higher for your home during certain times of the year. Hurricanes hit the coast from June through November, sending strong winds and heavy rains throughout much of the rest of the state. And tornado season picks up in March and runs strong through August.
In the North Texas Panhandle around Amarillo, it’s the tornado season in the spring that brings the worst storms. Springtime means more than just flowers blooming and birds chirping – it also means hail, lightning, thunder, and the threat of tornadoes.
That makes spring a good time for some home maintenance to get your home prepared for the inclement weather. Here are 7 key home maintenance tips to keep in mind for Texas storm season.
1. Get A Professional Roof Inspection
Your roof protects every other part of your home since everything else is under it, and a leak could mean expensive interior water damage. Getting a roof inspection done in early spring may reveal problems and weak points.
A timely roof repair, or in some cases, a re-roofing job, will help you avert serious damage. Remember that your roof is easily the most vulnerable part of your home during storm season.
2. Do Landscaping Maintenance
Any debris left lying around your yard could become a projectile during a tornado. And dead trees or branches are likely to topple in strong winds. Also, tree branches hanging over your house may damage the roof either by breaking off and crashing into it or by swaying back and forth and scratching it.
Thus, spring is a great time to make your landscaping safer as well as more beautiful.
3. Clean Out Your Gutters
Another important way to protect your home during storm season is to clean out and inspect your guttering system. If gutters are stuffed with leaves, sticks, and dust, they could back up during a storm and cause a leak. The water could also cause fascia boards and the edges of your roof decking to rot or mold.
If gutters are leaning over, loose, or need more gutter caulk at points, be sure to make all necessary repairs promptly.
4. Inspect Your Basement Or Storm Shelter
Due to the tendency of Texas’ clay soil to cause basement cement damage, many Texas homes have a slab only and an external storm shelter.
Whatever your home has, you need to inspect it in the spring for cracks and fissures. Damage to the cement in your basement wall, slab, or storm shelter wall should be repaired to prevent leaks, further damage, or an unsafe situation during a storm.
5. Be Ready For Major Storms
It’s a good idea to keep a sump pump and a portable gas generator at home. This will allow you to combat storm-related flooding and to have power during an outage.
Installing storm shutters before a major storm is supposed to hit may also be a good idea. Extra-thick (5/8 inch) plywood over windows and sliding glass doors is ideal.
Also, stock up on items like flashlights (and batteries), candles and matches, canned goods, bottled water, a first aid kit, and other survival supplies.
6. Be Prepared Financially
Be sure to have an emergency fund and homeowners insurance in place before storm season. Flood insurance is also important in some areas. Take a home inventory and pictures of possessions to show your insurer. This is an important aspect of preparing your home for potential storm damage.
7. Protect Your Electronics
Be sure electronics are protected by surge protectors. Storms are very likely to send power surges through the system that could damage or destroy computers and other electronics – or even start a fire.
Also, consider getting a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) system so that sudden power outages won’t damage your electronics either.
When looking to build a Texas tough home in the panhandle, contact the experts at Experience Homes in Amarillo, Texas!