The American Dream has evolved over the years, but home ownership remains a cornerstone of that grand vision: according to a recent Gallup poll, 34% of Americans still say real estate is the best long-term investment. Of course, the cost of owning a home includes much more than a mortgage, which is why it’s so important to protect your home against seasonal weather threats.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it’s usually less expensive to invest in preventive measures and costlier to fix something after the fact. And while weather across the entire nation may be more or less extreme depending on the region, there are a few tried-and-true ways to protect your home during seasonal transitions.
Winter to Spring
As temperatures warm and greenery returns to the landscape, homes and buildings begin to thaw out. Look for damage caused by ice and snow that might make spring showers unpleasant:
- Inspect your roof for holes.
- Clean your gutters to prevent water leakage or damage.
- Wash and patch screens.
- Fill and repair cracks in your driveway or sidewalk.
- Touch up any cracked or peeling paint.
- Trim trees (especially branches that might fall in a storm).
Spring to Summer
Mother Nature’s vitality is in full swing during this seasonal transition. This is the time to fortify against heavy showers, as well as any exterior landscaping such as flora and fauna that can’t be brought inside:
- Check the foundation of your home for low areas that could collect water, and consider adding insurance coverage for floods, as these extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common — to catastrophic degrees.
- Replace vent screens and repair cracks where pests may enter.
- Trim vegetation around your air conditioning unit outdoors to prevent blockage.
- Make sure air conditioning ducts and condensation pipes are clear and in good shape.
- Spruce up outdoor areas, like your deck or walkways, for warm-weather entertaining.
Summer to Fall
Guard against extreme heat and hurricanes — both of which have been making more headlines in recent years:
- Check windows and doors for proper insulation to reduce air conditioning leakage.
- Consider installing window reflectors, like aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
- Clear gutters to prevent leaves from sparking fire.
- Maintain landscaping to prevent ground fire from spreading. (Tip: Firewood should be stored at least 30 feet from the house.)
- Install double-paned or tempered glass to prevent heat breakage.
- Prep an emergency kit in the event of severe weather, which can ramp up as warm and cold temperatures in the air and water clash during this seasonal transition.
Fall to Winter
The daylight hours begin to give way to longer nights, so take care of these tasks before the temperatures plummet:
- Insulate walls, basement, attic and pipes (both indoors and out).
- Drip both hot and cold line faucets before freezing weather arrives to prevent pipes from freezing and possibly bursting.
- Service your HVAC so it’s ready to transition from blowing cool air to hot air.
- Add weather stripping to windows and doors to keep warmth inside.
- Cover landscaping to prevent frost and winterize raised beds.
Sometimes damage isn’t obvious and can fall through the cracks. Is it time to file a property claim?
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