Professional contractor, philanthropist, and TV host Mike Holmes shares tips to on how to protect your home from severe weather, including potential flooding.
Throughout his career, Mike Holmes’ straightforward approach has won over television audiences and industry leaders across the globe, changing the way people think about their homes and the building industry. When it comes to severe weather, Holmes says it’s important for homeowners to inspect and maintain their property throughout the year to prepare for a hurricane or other extreme conditions.
“I always recommend that homeowners protect their home from the outside in, and do regular maintenance checks,” said Holmes.
Do your homework
To help prevent your abode from being a casualty of the weather, Holmes recommends keeping a handy checklist nearby.
“Check the roof for missing or broken shingles, and check gutters for asphalt granules,” he explained, adding that gutters and downspouts should be inspected to make sure they are free of debris and flowing away from the house.
“Check the exterior foundation for any cracks, and make sure your grading is sloping away from the house. Also, consider waterproofing your exterior foundation walls and installing a weeping system.”
In addition, you should trim trees and shrubbery regularly. If you have large old trees, get an arborist to inspect your property every three years.
Having a plan
To better prepare for a hurricane, there are permanent improvements homeowners can make.
“The building industry needs to build better homes, especially in locations that experience severe storms and hurricanes,” said Holmes. “Good construction addresses the risks, minimizes vulnerabilities, and maximizes advantages to our constantly changing weather. This means building homes above flood levels if the area is vulnerable to floods, using waterproof and water-resistant products to minimize rot and mold growth, and ensuring that hurricane-proof roofs are used, which are metal with proper hurricane strapping tie-ins to walls and roof.”
Holmes suggests installing a metal roof, which is designed to be durable, wind resistant, and long-lasting. Also, install hurricane straps to the roof and walls and shop for shatter and wind-resistant windows. You should also opt for storm shutters, hurricane-proof fiberglass exterior doors (which should open in, instead of out), and double doorways should make sure the second door is latched at the top and the bottom of the door.
Also, consider buying a metal hurricane-proof garage door or have a strapping kit available as backup. Use mold and moisture-resistant products where possible, and make certain electrical panels, switches, and appliances are at least 12 inches above potential flood waters. Finally, install a sump pump with battery backup, a backflow valve to your main water supply or float valve.
Renters can take temporary steps to protect their homes, including exploring ways to secure windows, doors, and garage doors during a hurricane.
“Renters should make sure all outdoor furniture or plants are removed from the patio or balcony,” Holmes recommended. “Also, make sure your balcony is equipped with hurricane screens, as well as shutters or panels over the sliding glass doors and windows.