With the globe warming up, chances are that you will face a natural disaster at some point in your life, no matter where you live. Every location has a risk for certain threats. You can’t avoid every natural disaster, but you can do your part to make your home resistant to most natural disasters and avoid heavy repairs or losing your home.
Start with The Foundation
Seeing as it’s what holds your house up, it’s important to protect the foundation of your home against any type of potential disasters. If there’s a flood or one of your pipes breaks in a natural disaster, water can severely damage your foundation. If your foundation is damaged, it can affect the structural integrity of your home. This can be very unsafe. In order to protect your foundation, first make sure you have good drainage around your home. Make sure that all the drains and gutters lead water away from your home. It’s also important to inspect your foundation every so often and look for any cracks, moisture, or mold. Once you find these problems, fix them right away to avoid further issues.
If you live in an area that receives heavy rain, it’s important to make sure your entire house is waterproofed. The basement is an especially important area to waterproof as it is the area most likely to get water in from poor grading, excess rainfall, and floodwaters. Waterproofing also entails sealing your foundation and your siding to make sure no water can get in. Further waterproofing requires you to manage the rain gutters of your home. If your rain gutters overflow, you can get water in your home. If your gutters are clean, they are more efficient and protect your home better. Waterproofing your home is not a sure-fire way to prevent your home from flooding, but it does help your home hold up better longer in a wet environment.
Grade Your Lawn
Grading your lawn is another way to prevent water damage. If your lawn is properly graded, it slopes away from your foundation. A poorly graded lawn collects water in pools by your foundation which can be damaging to your foundation. For minor grades, you can use a rake or a shovel to even out the slope of your yard. For more intensive grades, if you want to do it yourself, you will need proper permits and to identify where the utility lines are so they don’t get accidentally damaged as you dig up your yard. You will have to dig up your existing grass to properly grade your yard and identify a drainage area where you want the water to go. It can be a time-consuming process, but it is a necessary thing to prevent water damage to your home.
Another way to protect your home from natural disasters is to use sturdy materials when you build your home. Sturdy materials include slate for roof shingles (as slate is fire resistant) and concrete for driveways and other features. Because concrete can withstand up to 800 degrees, it’s a great option if fire resistance is a top concern. Building with sturdy materials will help your house be more durable and survive the worst weather conditions and any natural disasters that may occur.
Replace the Roof
There are many reasons to replace the roof. If your roof is leaky, you could get a lot of water damage in a severe storm. If your roof isn’t fireproofed, your roof could catch on fire. There are many different options available for roofing materials, including ceramic tiles, asphalt shingles, and metal sheets. Replacing your roof can be an effective way to guard your home from the elements, but it can be quite costly, so only replace your roof if you need to.
Earthquake Proof Your Home
Earthquake proofing your home involves multiple levels of proofing. You can do the simple earthquake proofs yourself, by installing child locks on cabinets to prevent them swinging open and dropping all their contents, securing heavy furniture to the wall, and mounting the TV to the wall. You may need to get an inspection to retrofit your home. If your house was built on a raised foundation, have the crawl space looked at. If it is a cripple wall, it will probably need to be replaced as cripple walls tend to collapse during earthquakes. You may also need to buy earthquake insurance.
Protect Your Home from Wildfires
To protect your home against wildfires, you should clear your yard of all loose vegetation. Leaves and twigs in the gutter can be ignited in the event of a wildfire and cause your house to burn. Create a defensible zone 200 yards from your home by removing anything that could catch fire. Remove firewood to a safe distance so it won’t lead to your house catching fire. Don’t have any wood propped up against the house as it too can catch fire. Screen the openings to your house (such as vents) to keep embers out. While there is much you can do to protect your home from catching fire due to a wildfire, you may not be able to protect your home from every fire, so it is important to make sure your house numbers are visible for the firefighters so that they can find your house if they need to.
Install Back-up Generators
Even with all the precautions in the world, your house may be safe, but you may lose power from a natural disaster. Installing a backup generator gives you assurance that you and your family will still have power even if there is a storm raging on outside. While you will need to hire a professional to install a backup generator for you and your family, it is one way to safeguard your home against the event of a natural disaster.
Natural disasters are, by nature, unpredictable. You can’t plan for every event, but you can prepare your home so that it can be durable and survive most natural disasters.
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