Living in an area that's prone to severe storms during tornado season can be a scary prospect, but there are some steps you can take to help protect your house against potential damage. Work with a contractor and use the following tips to prep your home for severe storms and potential tornadoes.
Impact-resistant windows are used in hurricane zones to protect against glass shattering during severe storms. If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, these windows can provide essentially the same service for your home. Your contractor may need to order the windows, particularly if they are not commonly used where you live. You can pair the windows with storm shutters, which can be closed quickly when there is an advanced storm warning.
Vertical Garage Door Bracing System
High winds can compromise metal garage doors, causing them to blow inward or become separated from the garage-'s frame. You can help combat this problem by installing a vertical bracing system. This system is essentially a metal beam that slides into place, from floor to ceiling, in the center of the door. When the wind blows, this beam helps provide resistance, preventing the door from being blown in. If you have a large door, you may want to have two braces installed. Remember that these braces are only put in place during a storm, as it will also prevent you from being able to open the door on your own.
Of course, one danger to your home during a storm is the potential for trees to fall and break nearby. If you have large trees on your property, consider having them trimmed back at the beginning of the spring season. Any branches hanging over your roof should be removed, but your arborist can also help you identify other trouble spots in the trees. Once the trees are trimmed back, consider scheduling a roof inspection to make sure it is ready to take on stormy weather.
Secured Outdoor Appliances/Equipment
Any equipment you have outdoors, such as an air conditioner, generator, or fire pit, should be secured to the ground. You can have a contractor help you install concrete slabs for the air conditioner and generator, which can serve as the base for anchoring these items in place. If your fire pit is already on concrete, it needs only to be bolted into the ground. Remember that these items can get picked up during a cyclone or heavy storm, and securing them to the ground can help prevent potential damage to your home.