The earth, in all its magnificence and generosity, demands one thing: survival of the fittest. This applies to our homes, our literal refuge from storms and whatever else Mother Nature sees fit to send our way. Of course, how well your home survives nature’s ravages largely depends on how prepared you are to do what it takes to protect it.
The Big Picture
Recent alarming reports show that climate disasters are now occurring on a weekly basis. As a result, the World Bank is now anticipating losses at a whopping $520 billion annually, calling for the need for heightened standards in infrastructure, including housing.
Even if some regions are more vulnerable than others, no part of the world is truly spared from natural disasters. These can range from snowstorms to hail, heavy rains to hurricanes, and many more. Case in point, even the famously mild California weather has been known to take a turn for the worse with floods, El Nino storms, droughts, and wildfires.
With these weather incidents come a barrage of infrastructure damage, not the least of which occur in homes. In fact, weather-related insurance claims increased fourfold in the last decade alone. Moreover, the cost of home insurance is only anticipated to increase in the coming years, making it doubly important to protect your home in more ways than one.
Protection Is the Best Action
Doubtless, being proactive instead of reactive is the key to protecting your home from nature’s wrath. Indeed, much has been said about the benefits of staying on top of your house’s wear and tear, and many of them are true. Here are a few foolproof ways how.
Out of your entire home, it is your roof that receives the most onslaught of damage. While it’s good practice to have it thoroughly inspected after a weather incident, it’s even better practice to have inspections done regularly. The reason for this is simple: A roof in great condition will have a better chance of protecting the rest of the house than a less-than-perfect one, which, in turn, keeps damage to a minimum and expenses low.
It’s a good idea to have a checklist to know what to look out for during a roof inspection. To name just a few, this should include broken or missing shingles, missing or damaged chimney caps and vents, and the presence of moss or lichen signifying rot or decay.
Of course, inspections can only do so much. Proper maintenance is then required to act on whatever damage, weather-related or otherwise, is uncovered. More often than not, this would entail the replacement of damaged or missing shingles, the removal of moss or mold, repairs on vent and chimney openings, and fixing leaks.
However, in cases where damage is so extensive that patching up your roof will no longer suffice, it might be more prudent to consider a full roof replacement. While this will ensure better protection for your home over a longer period, this is a shrewd financial move. Know that a well-maintained roof will drive up the value of your home so it not only sells at a higher price but also faster, too — something to consider if selling your home in the future is a possibility.
As surprising as it may sound, protecting your home from climate disasters could be as easy as keeping your roof and surrounding areas clean. This is because weather damage is often caused by debris buildup. In wildfire-prone areas of California, debris in roof gutters and the house’s immediate area like decks and boardwalks can easily ignite, leading to larger flames. In other cases, debris can aggravate water and storm damage, which lead to rot, mold, and leaks.
Suffice it to say, there are always opportunities to catch and address problems as (maybe even before) they occur, and doing so will go a long way in keeping costs — not to mention, heartache — to a minimum. Your home standing sentinel against the elements is survival of the fittest at its finest. It’s not only your duty to protect it; it’s in your best interest, too.
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