Here in the heart of the Midwest, we have our share of extreme weather events. From thunderstorms with lightning and hail to tornadoes and even derechos. So what can you do to prepare your home for these natural weather events?
Precipitation and Flooding
We had our share of precipitation this past year. That included a great deal of flooding. Not only that, but a recent study of flood risk identified nearly 300,000 properties in Indiana that have a substantial risk of flooding. This included more than 100,000 that are not currently listed on FEMA’s flood insurance rate maps.
Hopefully, your home isn’t on either of those lists. But even so, you need to make sure you’ve done all you can to prepare for normal and even extreme precipitation. Here’s what we recommend:
- Waterproof your basement by installing an interior drainage system, sump pump system with a backup battery, and ensure exterior gutters and downspouts are moving water away from your foundation.
- Caulk basement windows to prevent water entry. Make sure your window wells are covered and any water that does enter drains away from the foundation.
- Find and repair any cracks in your basement walls.
- Install a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in your basement to help prevent mold and mildew.
Summer Heatwaves and Drought
We’ve been fortunate that the last major drought in Indiana was in 2012. See the precipitation and flooding section above as just one reason. Yet local heat and drying soil can lead to just as much damage to your home’s foundation as high moisture levels and flooding.
The best way to address this is to take care of your lawn and ensure that your yard and the landscaping around your foundation are watered adequately during the summer. It’s not recommended that you overwater. But ideally, your watering pattern is adjusted to the prevailing temperature and moisture conditions.
Winter Cold, Snow, and Ice
Freezing rain and ice storms happen all too often here in Indiana. That can lead not only to automobile accidents and toppled trees and branches but also to frozen pipes. In fact, in the top 25 cities with the most frozen pipes, Fort Wayne is ranked number five and Indianapolis is number eight.
Insulation is your home’s best friend. Make sure your crawl space or basement is insulated and that any drafts are sealed shut. If necessary, you can also directly insulate your pipes. Insulation can also help keep your house cool in the summer and save on energy costs in both winter and summer.
Year-Round Landscape and Lawns
We all love our trees, our lawns, and how about a lilac bush or two? Yet once they’re planted and start growing, it can be hard to get out the trimmers to trim them back. But it is essential to remove dead branches and trim back even healthy growth to prevent damage to your home.
Rainstorms, high winds, and ice can pull those beautiful branches onto your house, causing significant damage. Then there’s your home’s foundation.
Gutters and downspouts are designed to take the water collected by your roof and move it away from the foundation. Once on the ground, that water needs to move away onto your lawn and plants. Make sure the landscape is properly graded to accomplish just that.
And, of course, in the spring, it’s time for new planting. It’s important to keep your foundation in mind by choosing trees and bushes with non-invasive root systems and planting these landscaping choices far enough away from your home’s perimeter.
Prepare Your Home for Natural Weather Events
That’s a broad list of things to do in preparation for extreme weather. We at Indiana Foundation Service can help with your preparation with a free inspection to identify any issues that could lead to foundation damage. Give us a call.