Weather is a part of life. Some days we enjoy unobstructed sunshine and a nice breeze, but other days we aren’t so lucky. Some days we have to face high winds, rain, and freezing temperatures. But there are other extremes.
Natural disasters are a possibility in just about every region of every continent. And the risk and power of these extreme weather patterns are increasing.
Climate change is making the weather worse, which means your house could use extra protection against the elements. In fact, there are ways to make a home disaster-proof.
These changes, both big and small, can have big impacts on the longevity of your home and even your wallet. Some insurance providers offer big discounts for disaster-resistant home improvements.
So not only are you protecting your home from the next natural disaster, but you can also benefit from Allstate insurance discounts.
Is It possible To have A Disaster-Proof Home?
A disaster-proof home? Can it be true? The short answer is, yes. There are dozens of different methods you can use to build or remodel your home to be more disaster-proof. The path you take depends on the disaster you’re worried about.
It is worth noting, however, that no matter the materials, the plans, or the home itself, there is no way to 100% guarantee your home will make it through a natural disaster. These ideas are just ways to increase the likelihood of your home coming through intact.
What Disasters Can You Prevent Against?
Every season brings its own natural disaster, so it’s important to have homes that are ready for the next storm at all times. Not only are there the expected weather threats, but there’s also the unpredictable.
Take the cold weather tornado outbreaks, for example. Different areas of the U.S. are facing a heightened risk of tornados in December.
Even across the world, the weather is making headlines. In Australia, experts are tracking a cold weather front that is setting the stage for unsettled weather. People everywhere are bracing for big storms and dealing with the dozens of questions that come with those storms.
So what natural disasters can you protect your home against? There are tried and true ways to improve your home in the face of most natural disasters.
Everything from fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, and hail, even freezing temperatures, you can make it so your home is weather-proof.
Tips To Disaster-Proof Your Home
How you go about disaster-proofing your home depends on what you are most at risk for. If your home sits in an area known for wildfires, you’d want to focus more on that rather than hurricanes.
Each type of disaster has a few tips to help you get disaster ready before the next disaster season.
#1 – Review and Improve Landscaping
If you live with the threat of wildfires, then the first way to disaster-proof your home is to take a look at your landscaping. It’s important to keep any flora way from your home.
If plants or trees are likely to catch on fire, then the closer they are to the house the higher the risk of your home catching fire.
Keep highly flammable items at least 5 feet away from your home. If you use bark or mulch in flower beds, then replace it with gravel or concrete. This helps create an appealing and maintainable area for landscaping, but significantly lowers the risk of fire.
#2 – Upgrade your Roof
When wildfires do burn, they spread embers far and wide. These embers frequently land on the roofs of homes and start house fires. You can reduce this risk by upgrading your roof to a Class A roof.
Class A roofs are made of clay or concrete tiles, metals like steel or copper, or composite and asphalt shingles. These materials are much less flammable and will protect the roof structure underneath.
Take the roof upgrade a little further and cover any vents or eaves. Embers can travel through these small openings and start a fire inside the home. These fires are more likely to destroy a home completely, so you want to keep those areas protected.
#3 – Replace Siding
You can protect all sides of your home with upgraded, fire-rated siding. Fire-rated siding is most often stucco or cement-made.
This is especially important if your neighbors haven’t taken the proper precautions. If you upgrade your siding, then a fire is more likely to stop at your home.
Earthquakes hit some areas of the country more often than others. For those living in earthquake-prone areas, it’s important to take a few precautions to keep your home standing even after the shaking.
#4– Securing and Bolting
Many homes in areas like California are built with something called a “cripple” wall. These walls sit under a home and create a sort of crawl space between the foundation and the floor of the home. These walls are meant to absorb the shock and shake of an earthquake.
These walls can be retrofitted with bracing to strengthen them. In addition to the bracing, cripple walls can be bolted to the foundation.
For homes that don’t have cripple walls, there is still a big benefit to bolting. So it’s important to consider even with a cripple wall structure.
Hurricanes are a concern for coastal communities, but these natural disasters can cause so much damage. It’s a good idea to make these improvements during the off-season so you’re ready for the next hurricane.
#5– Seal Everything
Double and triple-check all doors and windows for broken seals. Even a small opening in a door or window can spell big trouble if a hurricane hits.
#6–Replace and Upgrade the Roof
A roof upgrade is another great way to protect your home from a hurricane. The first upgrade is an entirely new roof with 3 layers of waterproofing.
Each layer of the hurricane-grade roof works to keep extra water out of the home, which protects the home and the contents.
If you aren’t ready to do a full upgrade on the roof, consider adding roof straps and metal connectors. These improvements help secure the roof and protect it from collapse.
Tornadoes and Hail
Protecting against severe storms that produce tornadoes and hail is similar to the protection described for hurricanes. But there are a few other nuances to ensure your home is fully protected.
#7–Invest in a Safe Room
If you deal with frequent tornadoes, it might be best to invest in a safe room. These rooms can be retrofitted into your home and can protect your family from a direct hit by a tornado.
#8–Install an Impact-Resistant Roof
Hail is known to rip and tear at roof shingles. Any damage to the shingles can lead to water leaks and damage. If you upgrade your roof to a material that is impact resistant, you can cut down on the potential for this kind of damage.
Regardless of which natural disaster you might face, it’s always a good idea to invest in impact-resistant windows and doors. Most of these storms can and do cause debris to be tossed around.
Any piece of debris can come in contact with a window or door and cause even more damage. Replacing the windows can help make your home more disaster-proof.
Natural disasters are a part of life, and they affect every single person. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, there will always be a threat of some kind of natural disaster.
The best news is, you can make your home disaster-proof with just a few changes. You, your family, and your possessions will be safer and more secure than ever before.
Laura Gunn writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, Clearsurance.com. She is a tornado survivor and understands the damage and fear they cause.
She is passionate about all home owners knowing how to better protect themselves, their families, and their homes from any natural disaster.