Take proactive steps to protect your property As severe rain events in the Houston area continue to illustrate, wild weather is something homeowners and remodelers in the Gulf Coast region need to be prepared for year-round. Ensuring homes can withstand high winds and swirling debris is a top priority in this coastal city, and measures to prevent lasting damage is an ongoing process. While there is no way to avoid bad weather, experienced remodelers say homes can become safer with a few proactive measures: Don’t Lose Sight of the Trees. Make sure trees are properly pruned, said Tom Pellegrin, president of Third Coast Builders. “Most storm damage is caused by large limbs breaking and damaging the structure or the roof,” he explained, adding that mature trees should be addressed every few years. Safeguard Windows. Homeowners should invest in their windows, either replacing them with impactresistant glass or providing protection in the form of precut plywood, storm shutters or protective screens. “PLYLOX clips secure the plywood to the brick or stucco opening and are available at home centers,” said Pellegrin. President and owner of TriFection Remodeling & Construction, Jeff Roberts, said while some areas along the coast require windstorm-rated doors, windows and garage doors, “anyone who lives in an area that is prone to high winds during a hurricane should consider installing them.” He also recommends homeowners ensure their storm shutters are working before they’re needed. Update Your Roof. Pellegrin explained that roofs meeting high-wind specifications can be a home’s lifesaver. The material is the same, he said, but the felt has a specific nail pattern and uses tin disks that make the roof stronger, and the shingles’ nail pattern uses more nails. Keep the yard free of debris. Make sure objects that could be picked up by the wind are secured, Pellegrin said. “This includes lawn and patio furniture, kids’ play items, yard art and decorations, and landscape items. Also be sure to repair loose fence boards that could become dislodged.” Roberts recommends removing a few pickets from wood fences to allow the wind to blow through the fence instead of blowing it over. Weathering the Storm. Homeowners should invest in a generator. “Be sure to have plenty of fuel on hand – and use some type of stabilizer in the fuel to ensure its combustibility and proper functioning of the generator,” Pellegrin said. Sufficient insurance to replace a home and its contents in the event of major damage or loss is key, Roberts said. “Homeowners must remember that flood insurance must be purchased separately from loss coverage caused by wind.”
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