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  • Writer's pictureTeam Pinto

Safe & Sound: Protecting Your Waterloo Region Home from Summer Storms

The sun-soaked days of summer in the Waterloo Region often come with a dramatic side effect: thunderstorms. The Waterloo Region is no stranger to harsh summer storms – have been some really nasty storms in our region over the course of the last few summers, and the damage they did to some homes was extensive, to say the least.

While these intense bursts of rain, wind, and lightning are a natural part of our climate, they can also wreak havoc on your home if you're not prepared. Don't get caught off guard! This comprehensive guide walks you through prepping for the inevitable, safeguarding your home during the tempest, and tackling repairs afterwards if needed.

Prepping for the Storm: Proactive Protection Is Key

Preparing for the inevitable summer thunderstorms in the Waterloo Region is all about taking proactive measures to safeguard your home and minimize potential damage. With a little foresight and some simple actions, you can weather the storm with confidence.

Roof Checkup: Your First Line of Defense

Your roof bears the brunt of heavy rain and wind, so ensuring its integrity is crucial. Start by visually inspecting for any missing, loose, or damaged shingles. Pay special attention to areas around chimneys, vents, and skylights, as these are common entry points for water. If you spot any issues, don't hesitate to call a professional roofer for repairs.

Additionally, clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves, twigs, and other debris. Clogged gutters prevent proper water flow, which can lead to leaks, ice dams in winter, and even foundation damage. Consider installing gutter guards to help prevent future clogs and save yourself the hassle of frequent cleanings.

Landscaping: More Than Just Curb Appeal

Your landscaping plays a role in storm preparedness too. Overhanging branches near your house can become dangerous projectiles in high winds. Trim any overgrown trees or shrubs, and consider removing dead or diseased branches to minimize the risk of damage.

Another crucial aspect is the grading around your home. Ensure the ground slopes away from your foundation, directing water away from your house rather than towards it. If you notice any areas where water tends to pool, consider adding additional drainage solutions like French drains or swales.

Finally, secure loose items before a storm hits. Patio furniture, garbage bins, and other outdoor objects can become airborne in high winds, potentially causing damage to your property or your neighbours'.

Sump Pump Vigilance: Basements Beware!

If your Waterloo Region home has a basement, your sump pump is your best friend during heavy rains. Regularly check that it's working properly, and if it's an older model, consider replacing it before the storm season hits. A battery backup is a wise investment, ensuring your pump continues to function even if you lose power.

Window & Door Inspection: Sealing Out the Storm

Inspect all windows and doors for cracks, gaps, or signs of wear and tear. Seal any openings with caulk or weatherstripping to prevent water from seeping in during heavy downpours. If you have older windows, consider investing in storm windows for added protection.

For areas prone to high winds, consider impact-resistant glass or even storm shutters. While these might be a bigger investment, they offer peace of mind and can significantly reduce the risk of damage.

Emergency Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything

Being prepared for the unexpected is key to weathering any storm. Assemble an emergency kit with essentials like flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food items, and a battery-powered radio to stay informed if the power goes out. Make sure everyone in your household knows where the kit is located and how to access it.

By taking these proactive steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of storm-related damage and ensure your home is well-prepared to withstand the elements.

During the Storm: Your Safety is Priority One

When the skies darken and thunder rumbles, it's time to take shelter and prioritize your safety. Here's what to do during a Waterloo Region summer storm:

Stay Indoors

The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is indoors, away from windows and doors. Avoid taking showers or baths, as lightning can travel through plumbing.

Unplug Electronics

Lightning strikes and power surges are common during thunderstorms. To protect your valuable electronics, unplug them from power outlets. This includes computers, televisions, gaming consoles, and appliances.

Avoid Plumbing and Appliances

As mentioned, lightning can travel through plumbing and electrical wiring. Avoid using any appliances that are connected to water, such as washing machines or dishwashers.

Stay Informed

Keep an eye on weather reports and alerts. Download a reliable weather app like The Weather Network or Environment Canada's WeatherCAN app to receive real-time updates on the storm's progress and any warnings issued for your area.

Monitor Your Home

If possible, keep an eye out for any leaks or signs of water intrusion. If you notice anything concerning, try to contain the water with towels or buckets, and document the damage with photos for insurance purposes.

Stay Calm

Thunderstorms can be scary, especially with loud thunder and bright flashes of lightning. Stay calm and reassure children or pets who might be anxious. Some pet parents say that a thunder vest helps nervous cats and dogs in a storm, so keeping one on hand may be helpful.

Remember, your safety is paramount. By staying indoors, unplugging electronics, and monitoring the situation, you can minimize the risk of injury and protect your belongings during the storm. Once the storm passes, you can assess any damage and take steps to repair or mitigate any issues.

After the Storm: Assess & Repair

Once the storm has passed, it's time to assess the damage and take action:

  • Safety First: Be cautious of downed power lines or other hazards. If you're unsure, contact a professional for assistance.

  • Document the Damage: Take photos or videos of any damage to your property for insurance claims.

  • Contact Your Insurance: If you have home insurance, notify your provider of any damage as soon as possible.

  • Mitigate Further Damage: If it's safe, try to mitigate further damage. For example, cover broken windows or tarp damaged areas of your roof.

  • Get Professional Help: Contact reputable contractors or professionals to assess and repair any significant damage to your home's structure, roof, or systems.

Team Pinto: Your Partners in Waterloo Region Real Estate

Whether you're buying or selling a home, unexpected weather events are part of life in the Waterloo Region. Having a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side is crucial for navigating challenges and ensuring your home is protected.

We, at Team Pinto, understand the importance of home maintenance and preparedness. We can provide valuable resources, connect you with trusted professionals for repairs and renovations, and ensure your home is ready for the next storm season.

Don't let unpredictable weather dampen your real estate dreams! Contact Team Pinto today, and let's weather the storms together!



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