Spring storms in Kentucky can produce rain for up to 12 hours at a time, usually affecting localized areas of less than 400 square miles. More than three inches can fall in less than four hours, sometimes resulting in flash floods. You may not have to fear tropical storms like those that occur in Florida, but preparing for spring rainstorms can protect your home from damage and keep your family safe. Use these eight tips to prepare your home for spring storms.
Checking the Roof
High winds can loosen shingles and turn them into flying objects. Old or damaged shingles allow water to seep into the wood sheathing and cause rot. As spring storms approach, it is a good time to check the condition of your roof and repair loose shingles.
Trimming the Trees
Forces of wind and rain can break dead or loose branches, creating a risk of damage to your windows, siding and shingles. Proper maintenance can help trees weather the spring storms and prevent damage to your home. Trimming can avoid the hazard of falling limbs that may hurt someone or damage your car.
Cleaning the Gutters
Gutters and drains collect dirt, debris, seed pods and leaves that can block the flow of water. Clearing blockages allows excess rain to flow freely through your gutters and down the spouts that direct it away from your home. Standing water can seep into the soils beneath your foundation and cause it to shift.
Fixing Drainage Problems
Water finds the lowest level in your yard, giving you a clear guide to areas that need a fix. Adding soil that raises depressed areas may help correct the situation, but a French drain offers a lasting solution. You can install underground pipes that have holes on top to accept excess water and direct it to disposal areas. Water that stands on grass for a few days can suffocate and kill it, leaving an unsightly mess.
Building a Supply Kit
Spring storms can produce severe weather that creates power outages, curtails travel and allows an inadequate amount of time to prepare for them. To keep your family safe, make an emergency supply kit that includes a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, a battery-operated flashlight, extra batteries, prescription medications, and phone numbers of your utility companies. The Center for Disease Control recommends that you include bandages, tweezers, scissors, antibiotic ointment, adhesive tape, 81-milligram aspirin packets and a first aid instruction booklet in your first aid kit.
Avoiding the Outdoors during Storms
Thunder gives you a warning to go indoors and stop doing yard work. Even though you want to finish a task, rushing to complete it can put you in danger. Lightning may strike sooner than you expect, often occurring before the rain starts.
Installing Storm Shutters
Expanses of glass in your bay windows, decorative stained glass panels or sliding doors can receive direct blows from falling limbs or other objects. Shutters can add a distinctive touch to your home’s architecture while providing protection for glass at the same time. While many are only decorative, others let you close them when you know that a storm is coming.
Replacing Decorative Landscape Gravel
River rock, marble chips, pea gravel and bed rock that high winds propel can easily break the glass in your windows. While aesthetically pleasing as accents for your paths and driveway, they pose a potential for damage that makes softer materials a better choice. You can find decorative mulch that accents and enhances your landscape without becoming flying objects.