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Gutter-Related Health & Safety

Protecting Your Home from Extreme Weather

By July 21, 2015October 17th, 2023No Comments

Whether it’s due to global warming or other factors, the frequency of extreme weather events is on the rise across North America. Summer brings a higher risk for tornadoes, high winds, wildfires and flooding in many regions. Here are some important safety tips to help you protect your home from extreme weather.

 

Wind

If you live in a tornado-prone region, there are steps you can take to mitigate wind damage. Have your roof inspected annually to ensure that all components are in good repair. Keep branches trimmed back at least three feet from the surface. If you decide to plant trees, choose species that develop deep root systems and hold up well in strong winds. Plant them enough distance from the house that they cannot fall and cause structural damage. Install storm windows or shutters to protect windows.

 

Flooding

Perform regular gutter cleaning to keep gutters and downspouts clear so that water drains easily away from the home. If you have a sump pump in the basement, monitor it to be sure it is functioning properly. Ensure that your furnace, water heater and electric panel are elevated. If you leave your home during the winter, always set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees to prevent burst pipes.

 

Fire

In fire-prone areas, keep vegetation and combustible debris to a minimum within 30 feet of your house. Install a fire-rated Class A roof if possible. Routinely perform roof and gutter cleaning to keep gutters, vents and roof valleys clear of leaves and debris that could catch fire. Solid metal gutter guards offer excellent protection against fires started by windblown embers that land in gutters.

 

Power Outages

Recent superstorms and hurricanes have made many Americans painfully aware of the effects of going without electricity. Be prepared for emergencies by installing a stand-by generator that can keep refrigerators, heaters, water pumps and other essential equipment running. A more affordable alternative is a portable gas-powered generator that can power a few home appliances for several hours.