Protect Your Home From Storm Damage

The 2018 storm season is upon us, and once again thousands of homeowners have to turn their thoughts to protecting their home from potential onslaughts. Below, we have put together a simple guide to five key methods of helping to limit the storm damage on your home – read on to find out more…

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Landscaping

Clever landscaping is one of the best ways to prevent water damage as a result of a storm. Landscaping can be specially designed to ensure that water is moved away from your home, helping to eliminate the risks of substantial water accumulation that can lead to flooding.

Ideally, you should choose landscaping that seeks to create a downward slope from your home. This slope does not need to be particularly substantial; just enough for gravity to pull water from your home and instead channel it into lower areas of your property.

Weatherstripping

Weather stripping is the practice of finding small gaps and holes in your property and then sealing them. Gaps around doors and windows are most liable to be problematic should you experience a storm event, and can allow enough damage to force you to claim on your homeowner’s insurance or foot a large bill yourself. By closing these with specially-designed tape, the potential entry routes for rainwater are minimized.

Weather stripping is quick and easy to do. Use a flashlight to help identify as many gaps as possible, then seal these with tape or – where applicable – add door strips for extra protection.

Clear gutters

The gutters of your home serve an important purpose, so you need to be sure that yours are in good condition. It’s all-too-easy for dirt and debris to accumulate in gutters, so sweep these items clear so that your guttering can perform the important work of diverting water away from your home.

Inspect roof for weak spots

During a storm, the roof of your property will experience the full force of wind and rain. To be able to withstand this, your roof needs to be in good condition, so it is important to inspect this area in great detail. Look for loose tiles and missing shingles; these can easily be displaced entirely by high winds, which leaves your home vulnerable to roof leaks.

Think of your roof as the first line of defense against any storm; if it is compromised, the rest of your property will be also. As a result, if you do identify any issues with your roof, remedy them as quickly as possible.

Repair loose siding

Loose siding is particularly problematic during storms. Not only can it be torn and further damaged by high winds, but loose siding also provides another entry route into your home for water.

Identifying loose siding is, thankfully, simple – a visual inspection will usually suffice, and if anything looks amiss, you can physically check the area to determine the severity of the issue. Focus on repairing the more severely compromised areas as a priority, and the more minor cases at the next opportunity.

In conclusion

If your home experiences a storm, damage is not inevitable. With the right preventative actions – as described above – and the right home insurance plan, you can ensure that damage/cost is minimized, and you are able to return to your property safely and promptly following a major storm.

Do You Have a Plan for Long-Term Care?

You’ve probably thought about your health, but have you ever thought of whether you or someone you love will someday need long-term care? If you haven’t, it’s something to consider when planning for your financial future. Illnesses or injuries can hit at a moments notice, leaving you struggling to pay for care when you need it. That’s why it’s smart to start planning your long-term care strategy now.

Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself:

Will You Need Long-Term Care?

No one ever really expects to need long-term care, but you can be more ready for the possibility by knowing your health history. Are you, or a loved one, close to retirement? Long-term care is often needed as people age. Are there any hereditary illnesses or a history of injury? If you or someone close to you has a history of Alzheimer’s, dementia or any other degenerative disease, then long-term care may eventually be needed. Also take lifestyle choices into consideration as well.

Can You Do Anything to Help?

There’s no definitive way to prevent yourself or a loved one from needing long-term care. You can, however, take precautions to help you stay healthy. Exercise is a great way to keep your body strong and fend off potential illnesses. Your diet can dramatically impact your health as well. There is even some research that suggests certain foods can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. Lifestyle choices can help prevent injuries and health issues that require long-term care.

Do You Know What to Expect?

Planning for the possibility of long-term care is smart. Just be sure to plan for all aspects of your care. You need to make certain that your health insurance will cover any medical needs that would arise from a serious injury or illness. You also need to be aware of any deductibles or premiums you’ll need to plan to pay for yourself. Also, think about whether you will need in-home help to provide care. Finally, you’ll need to research the price of accessibility upgrades you might need for your home.

Paying for Long-Term Care

How Can Insurance Help With Your Care?

Having health insurance, whether it’s Medicare or private insurance, is a smart move to cover medical costs. Your plan may pay for needs such as medications, medical supplies, and equipment needed for long-term care. If you have life insurance, you may be able to use that policy to help as well. You can sell your life insurance to cover excess or unexpected costs of long-term care. Be sure you understand your policy details and the options available to you before you make any decisions.

Where Can You Turn for Help?

Sometimes, savings and insurance just aren’t enough. The costs of long-term care can be unexpected and surprise needs can come up. Whether it’s hiring in-home help or making your home accessible, there are grants available to help. Do some research now, so you’ll know where to turn if you ever need help. It’s also wise to get help with the emotional effects of long-term care, so seek out support groups or counselors if you need help keeping your mental health in check.

How Can You Save for Long-Term Care?

Saving is an efficient way to prepare yourself for any unexpected turns that might impact your finances. Since long-term care is often needed when you’re a senior, you should make sure you’re saving now for retirement. Having enough retirement savings to cover your normal living expenses will make it easier to accommodate for lengthy care. You might also be able to use your Health Savings Account to tuck away funds for care. Try to pay your debt down to further free up finances.

Thinking of yourself or someone you love with a major illness or injury isn’t pleasant. But planning for the possibility of long-term care will take pressure off if the unthinkable does happen. It’s important to prepare your finances now, so you can have peace of mind as you grow older.

Author

June is the co-creator of Rise Up for Caregivers, which offers support for family members and friends who have taken on the responsibility of caring for their loved ones. She is author of the upcoming book, The Complete Guide to Caregiving: A Daily Companion for New Senior Caregivers.

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