After the harshness of winter storms and cold, spring appears to be a seasonal respite—yet dangers lurk for your clients during spring, too. Not only a season of blooming, spring offers up strong winds, rains, and changing temperatures. Spring storms pose risks for flooding and damage.
Your clients will turn to you for help to keep their homes safe. Here’s what to suggest to get their homes ready for spring weather.
Stop Water Damage: Check Outside Faucets and Flood Risks
It’s a small thing, but it could lead to a major repair. Clients should inspect their hose faucets outside for damage from the last frost. If this has been neglected for a while, the damage will be more apparent. Have the client hold their thumb over the opening; if the flow stops completely, the pipe indoors is damaged and most likely needs to be replaced.
Double-check the hose for dry rot. You’ll also want to check the foundation and exterior walls for cracks and other water entrance points. Is the plumbing secure, and are the flood shields in the basement?
Where there’s water, there’s a potential flood risk when spring storms hit. Older homes are more at risk than new ones when it comes to floods. More modern houses are equipped with weather stripping and flood-safe ledges that keep the home safe from water damage, particularly in a small flash flood. The client will need to think ahead when it comes to weather stripping and areas that are prone to a flood risk.
Aside from the foundation and plumbing, the client needs to check the status of the roof. If your client’s roof has seen better days, now is the time to replace. Roofing is particularly at risk during hail storms, because even if there aren’t visible signs of damage, it can exist beneath the shingles. And if your client hasn’t had their gutters cleaned recently or failed to remove ice buildup over the winter, they could be at risk for pooling water and leaks.
Be Prepared for Lightning and Keep up With Landscaping
Overgrown plants and trees on the property create a hazard for the home when lightning strikes during spring storms. Routine cleanup and landscaping is an important part of spring storm readiness.
Trees offer shade and help regulate the home’s temperature seasonally. However, there are cons to having a shade tree too close to the home. Cut tall overhead branches that could fall and hit the roof or side of the home. Existing debris poses a risk for damage to the home, by getting picked up and thrown during storms. Clients should be diligent about picking up fallen branches, pieces of shingles, and other debris, and pruning shrubs as they exhibit new growth.
Now may be the time for the client to consider new outside furniture and landscaping projects. Secure an old and shaky deck. Ditch plastic lawn furniture for a sturdy bench built into the patio. Remind the client this is a time to reconsider the aesthetic of their outdoor entertainment area or garden, to build something secure and inviting for guests and family members. Be prepared to offer suggestions and solutions, actively listening and answering any questions.
In the lawn and near the foundation, the client needs to check for low areas. Water collects and pools in these areas, potentially seeping through cracks into the home and creating a nasty breading ground for bugs.
Advise the client to at least fill these areas with compact soil. If there are any holes, it’s best to overfill them in the case that such areas become sinkholes, creating a bigger remodel project for the home due to drainage and erosion issues. Sinkholes can happen unexpectedly, increasing chances of falls, injuries, and death.
Spring storms bring as much damage as winter storms. Your client may be surprised by this idea—until a flash flood hits.
Help keep clients’ homes safe from spring weather first. Focus on prevention instead of recovery when it comes to damage. Get ahead of spring storms now to better enjoy this beautiful season.