Protecting Your Home Against Extreme Weather

Your home is a place of refuge and comfort. You count on your home to stand strong against the storms of any season. While your home generally does well when tested, extreme weather can compromise even the strongest homes.

Alberta is no stranger to extreme weather and other disasters. We have heavy snow storms, raging wildfires, and powerful hail and thunderstorms. The damage of these disasters can reach into the billions of dollars. Too often, houses sustain heavy damage, causing grief for the families who called them home.

How can you stay safe when confronting extreme weather? Regular maintenance, preparedness, and precautionary steps could save your house from damage and yourself from heartache. Use the tips below to prepare your home for the storms ahead.

How to Protect Your Home from Thunder and Hailstorms

Alberta has intense hailstorms. Hailstones can damage siding, roofs, and windows. Intense storms can also break nearby trees or power lines, creating an additional threat from outside.

Here are a few a tips to protect against these specific threats:

  • Inspect your roof for any wear or damage. Most roofs last 20 years, but hail prone areas might need to replace their roofs sooner.
  • Choose materials designed to survive multiple hailstorms or impacts when you repair or replace a roof.
  • Close your drapes or blinds when a hailstorm begins. Hail can break windows, which can send glass flying into a home.
  • Remove or properly trim trees near your home. A fallen tree or branch can cause catastrophic damage to your home.
  • Unplug electronics during a storm. Lightning could cause a short circuit that could result in fire.

How to Withstand Winter Storms

Canadian winters can make life difficult, but not unbearable. However, heavy winter storms still pose a threat to our homes. Heavy snow can collapse roofs or cause water damage to our homes.

You should watch accumulating snow closely to make sure it doesn’t damage your home. Use these tips to protect your home from the worst winter storms.

  • Shovel snow out of window wells, outside stairwells, and away from the foundation. If snow drifts form against your home, melting snow may flood your basement.
  • Make sure your pipes stay warm. They could freeze and break otherwise. If it gets too cold, open the sink cabinet so warm air can keep the pipes clear.
  • Ventilate your attic so the attic temperature stays even with the outside temperature. If the attic warms too much, it will melt the snow at the top of the roof, which will freeze again in the gutter. This forms an ice dam that could push water into your roof and walls.
  • Watch for snow accumulation on your roof. Never climb on the roof to remove snow. You should call a professional.

How to Fight Wildfires

While wildfires are not storms, storms often cause them. If you live in a rural area use these tips to prevent fire damage to your home.

  • Clear any combustible materials within 10 to 30 metres of your home. This includes trees, leaves, and trash. Prune vegetation in this zone to prevent fires.
  • Make sure surrounding trees are a safe distance from your home and power lines. This will prevent trees from falling and damaging your home or the electrical grid.
  • If you have an outside propane tank, remove the vegetation for 10 metres around it.

If you fortify your home against the weather, you reduce the danger it poses to your home and family. While you can’t stop natural disasters, your preparations will minimize damage and make recovery easier. Use these tips as a starting point to begin protecting your home and family now.

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