With the planet growing increasingly warm, the climate is changing rapidly. It’s not just getting hotter, it’s also getting colder, and stormier, and drier, and more extreme in every dimension. As a homeowner, you’re going to have to make sure your house can keep up with all that nature is trying to throw at it, no matter where you live. Is your home ready? Here’s a short list to check.
Do You Know Your Climate Risks?
Before you can get your house ready for the weather, you need to know what risks you face. The normal weather hazards you grew up with may be changing dramatically as some areas get warmer and wetter. If you were once in an area that was prone to dramatic weather shifts, watch for even more dramatic weather, and keep track of the new challenges that seem to repeat. These are the hazards to prepare for. Long-term weather forecasting can help somewhat, but those models can’t always account for things like drought and wildfires.
Insulate and Weatherproof Your Home
No matter what kinds of climate shifts your area experiences, there’s absolutely a benefit to adding insulation and sealing the cracks in your home. Insulation works both ways: it keeps the warm in where it’s cool and it keeps the cool in where it’s warm. Sealing and weatherproofing further help you spend less on energy on extreme weather days and can help keep pests out of your home too.
Consider a Household Generator
When the weather gets dramatic, the true fragility of the power grid starts to show. Whether it’s an ice storm in January that pulls down branches and power lines, extreme heat that taxes the power grid so much that rolling blackouts are required to keep things going, or wildfires or hurricanes that temporarily, and unpredictably, cause power outages, a household generator can be a good solution.
Because they run on propane or natural gas, you don’t need electricity to keep your house powered through the worst kinds of weather, just enough gas to run the motor and generate electricity for your home.
Add Big Drains for Big Rains
If you’re seeing more rain than usual, a quick and dirty solution can be adding a sump pump under your home or in your basement. Even if you never use it, having a sump pump and a drain to match will ensure that you’re not going to be underwater when torrential rains dump inches and inches of water on the ground.
Sump pumps might be no match for dramatic flash flooding, but adding yard drains and ensuring that your yard is properly graded can help you move water away from your home faster, no matter how much is pouring from the sky.
Protect From Wind and Flying Debris
Tornadoes and hurricanes are terrifying, especially in areas that don’t normally see these kinds of wind events. If you’re starting to hear more about high winds in your area, it’s time to protect your home from flying debris. Although covering windows with plywood will work in a pinch, permanently installed storm shutters are even better. You can close them over your windows in no time, and reopen them when the threat has passed.
A storm shelter can also be a good thing to have around if you’re in a storm-prone area. Although storm shutters are great to protect glass from flying debris, in case the roof comes off in a storm or a tree falls on your house, you still need to be somewhere safe. Storm shelters are great for homes without basements, especially where tornadoes and fast-moving but short-lasting, winds are a problem.