4 Ways the Weather Can Threaten Your Home
Your home might be your castle, but to Mother Nature, it’s just another structure that gets in the way. And while builders, city planners, and architects take local weather into account before erecting a new building, there is only so much that preplanning can do to protect your home. Ultimately, it’s up to you to understand how different types of weather can impact your investment. Below, Emil Ratti with Coldwell Banker Realty discusses four common weather events.
1. Wind and Hail
Storms can pop up any time, despite what the radar might suggest. Usually, a little rain and a few flying twigs won’t cause much damage, but high winds and even small hail can. Wind can rip shingles right off the roof, while hail will pockmark roofing materials of all types. This is a problem for many reasons. First, roof damage allows water to come into contact with the sub-roof, which can then leak or rot, leaving your home at risk of structural damage. But a roof in disrepair can also cost you if you plan to sell your home – especially in a competitive market.
If the damage is small, you can usually replace the shingles on your own – if you don’t mind the climb. But for large areas of damage, you’ll need to call in a roofing company. Fixing roof damage can help you sell your home for more (when compared to selling with an “as-is” stipulation). More importantly, taking care of issues early can prevent more significant problems from popping up.
Houses in hurricane-prone areas should also consider getting hurricane shutters to protect their windows, and thus their interior, from damage. There are several types of shutters available, including rolling, colonial, and accordion, so work with a contractor to learn which type is best for your home.
2. Heavy Rains
Just because your roof is in good shape doesn’t mean your home is safe from water damage. Heavy, saturating rains can seep into your home’s foundation. This is most likely to happen in basement homes, and flooding causes water damage from the ground up, which can cause substantial damage to your flooring. If your home has suffered major damage to its flooring, call in qualified professionals to make repairs or install new flooring.
You can’t stop a major disaster, but there are steps you can take to keep things dry during the wet season. Start by hiring land grading services to grade the landscaping around your home so the soil is compacted and slopes away from the house. Before hiring a contractor, review ratings and feedback from past customers. Bob Vila explains that you can also add a coat of Drylok to the interior and exterior cinder block walls to reduce moisture intrusion.
3. Excessive Sun
If you think you’re safe once the sun comes up, think again. UV damage can take a toll on a home. Surprisingly, the sun isn’t usually a problem outside but, instead, can fade things like carpets, furniture, and artwork in the interior.
If you still have single-pane windows, it’s time for an upgrade. Even bottom-tier windows available today offer more sun protection than many homes’ original glass. Short of a full replacement, you can add a UV-blocking film to windows with a direct line of sight to the sun or use thermal curtains to block light completely.
4. Freezing Temps
Cold weather may keep you inside, but don’t neglect to take a peek at your brick when Jack Frost pays a visit. During the winter, the continuous freeze/thaw/freeze pattern that many parts of the country experience can wreak havoc on your masonry. Missing mortar, spalling bricks, and a cracked chimney cap are all signs of freeze damage, according to Ray Arnold Masonry and Contracting.
If you spot potential problems, have the damage fixed, and then seal the bricks. Masonry sealant is available at the hardware store. Before application, clean the surface to be sealed and remove moss and dirt. A foam roller or paint sprayer can get the job done quickly.
Paying for Repairs
Needless to say, repairs cost money. If you have a little saved up just in case of an emergency, you won’t have to worry too much about covering those bills. However, if you don’t have some money tucked away, you may look for other ways to pay. For example, you could refinance your mortgage in order to take advantage of the equity you’ve built up in the property. By cashing out this equity, you can take care of any problems that arise due to inclement weather.
If you’re interested in knowing what your ROI (return on investment) will be for these repairs and updates, look into the current housing market trends in your area. If the market is up and repair costs are stable, then you are likely to come out on top. You can also talk with a real estate professional in your area, like Emil Ratti with Coldwell Banker Realty, who is well versed in the market and the importance of weatherization for your area.
Make a Plan to Manage and Address Weather Damage
You can’t control the weather, but you can protect your biggest investment. Remember, what happens outside doesn’t always stay there. Have some money set aside in case of an emergency, or look into refinancing your home if any damage occurs. A few preventative measures now – and professional help when damage has already occurred -- can save you from bigger expenses later down the road.
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