It can be difficult to know when to expect hail. Every thunderstorm won’t bring hail, and a hail storm can occur without a thunderstorm. The unpredictability of hail makes it essential to stay prepared, including protecting your home. When you have advance notice of an approaching hail storm, remember these six tips to protect your property.
1. Keep Your Roof in Mind
A poorly maintained roof will expose the inside of your home to significant damage during a hail storm. Even one weak or missing shingle can leave a gap that hail can penetrate. As you learn about hail size dimensions, you’ll discover that heavier hail can leave immense impact damage even when the storm is brief.
Keep up with your roof maintenance all year round. Schedule annual inspections, and have your roofing contractor look at your roof after any significant storm. Talk to your contractor about installing impact-resistant roofing materials for better protection when you need a new roof.
If you haven’t scheduled maintenance in a while, try to have a professional evaluate your roof before an approaching storm for any weaknesses that can be repaired quickly.
2. Trim Your Trees
Even though you might live in the region known as Hail Alley, you can still maintain trees and shrubbery on your property. However, the likelihood of hail makes taking good care of your trees more critical. In particular, keep your trees pruned for better tree health and keep up with trimming.
Removing tree branches growing too close to your home will help you reduce storm damage. Similarly, trimming the dead branches on shrubbery near your home can also be beneficial. A wayward branch can damage your siding or break a window during a hail storm.
3. Clean Up Your Yard
When protecting against thunderstorms with hail, unsecured things should go into storage until the storm passes. You might think that your patio furniture is heavy enough to withstand large or heavy hail, but many hail storms also bring heavy winds.
Moving your patio furniture into a shed, garage, or basement is better until the storm passes. Move other items into storage, including bicycles, lawn care equipment, and your grill. If you have an outdoor kitchen, remove anything that isn’t secure. You should also have a tarp to cover the cooking area to protect it against damage. Similarly, cover your HVAC compressor with a tarp to keep hail from denting the vents.
4. Cover Your Windows to Prevent Damage
Even if you only expect mild hail, you should still guard against damage to your windows. You can face a significant home repair expense if hail breaks or damages multiple windows on your home. If your home has shutters, close them before the storm.
But if your home doesn’t have shutters, a quick fix is to secure large pieces of plywood over each window. Soon after the storm, it will be a wise precaution to invest in shutters for your home.
5. Clean Your Gutters
Rain will often accompany hail, making it essential to ensure your gutter system can handle heavy usage. Ensure your gutters are clean when expecting any type of storm. Otherwise, the water and hail can back up and cause damage to your home’s roof, siding, and windows. You might even suffer interior water damage during a longer storm.
When you live in a region where hail is common, certain types of gutters won’t last long. Both vinyl and aluminum gutters will suffer damage quickly during a hail storm. You’ll do more to protect your home in the future by replacing those gutters with steel gutters and downspouts. The steel will withstand the hard impact of hail better, giving your home longer-lasting protection.
6. Plan for Cleanup After the Storm
The cleanup after a storm will look different based on how much preparation you managed to do beforehand. You may need to clear debris from your yard, whether from surrounding trees or other sources.
Professional cleanup services can be of great benefit after a storm.
Keep Up With Home Maintenance for Year-Long Protection
If you’re expecting a hail storm, following these key tips can help protect your home from damage and minimize cleanup afterward. Staying up-to-date with your roof, tree care, and other maintenance issues can save you from scrambling just before a storm and give you more time to concentrate on your family’s safety and basic needs.