There is almost no telling when and where a hailstorm will hit, especially if you live in states that are not prone to hail. When it does hit an area and massive chunks of ice fall from the sky, however, it often causes injuries and damage to homes and belongings.
Even though you can hardly see hail coming, here are some of the things you can do to prepare your home for it.
Regularly check and maintain your roof
Your roof is your primary protection during a hailstorm, so its integrity should be your main concern. Inspect your roof at least once a month and repair any problems you notice immediately. Even small dents and cracks can lead to expensive damage in the long run, so if you see damaged or broken shingles, replace them without delay. Install roofing with class 3 or 4 rating, which means they are highly impact-resistant and can withstand harsh hail.
Regularly check your chimney, as well. Make sure it’s in good condition and can be opened and closed easily.
Trim your trees and shrubs
During a hailstorm, strong winds and hail can tear down branches, which can lead to significant damage to your property. Shrubs and small plants close to your windows can also break the glass.
Trim and prune all the trees and shrubbery in your property. Pay special attention to any overhangs that are directly over the roof or too close to windows; these are extremely likely to damage your home. Trim all dead, dry or weak shrub and tree branches that can easily come loose during a storm. Maintain your lawn to minimize the risk of hailstorm damage.
Large chunks of hail can easily shatter windows. Protect your windows by installing permanent shutters that can easily be closed as a hailstorm approaches. Close the drapes or blinds to keep the wind from blowing glass shards into your home in case a window gets broken.
Aside from broken shingles, broken or shattered windows are perhaps the most common home damage dealt by hailstorms. Seek out local window replacement or repair services early on, so you can have your windows repaired immediately. If you live in Salt Lake City, search for window replacement in the area even before hailstorm season.
Outdoor items, such as patio furniture, toys, bicycles, woodpiles, and decorative landscaping (e.g. stone, pebbles and gravel) are easy targets for hail. If the winds during the hailstorm are too strong, these things can also become airborne projectiles.
Keep your outdoor area safe and clean. Make space for the stuff and furniture in your shed. If you cannot bring something indoors, make sure that there is a place where you can secure or tie it to. Replace rock, gravel, and pebbles in your landscaping with lighter and safer materials, such as shredded bark, that will cause little or no damage to your property even when blown by strong winds.
Preparing for a hailstorm takes time, effort, and resources, but it will save you from a lot of trouble and unnecessary expenses when the hailstorm hits. Check your property regularly and listen closely to weather updates to stay safe during hailstorms, no matter where you hail from.