How Anyone Can Protect Their Home Against Storms

When storm season is upon us, it’s natural to feel anxious for your family and your home. Protecting where you live from the inside out is important for peace of mind and also to minimize the risk of losing precious property. Whether it’s wind or water damage, there are steps anyone can take themselves to boost the integrity of their home.

What can I do about wind damage?

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Wind damage can be a serious issue if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tornadoes or even the occasional gale.

There are two main concerns with wind damage, which are flying debris and the wind itself. You can attach extra locks to doors and windows, especially deadbolts, to make sure they don’t blow open during storms and also cause roof damage due to wind pressure entering the house.

For roofs, you can purchase hurricane straps or screw-in clips to make it hug the foundations more closely. Also be sure to bond any loose tiles which can easily fly off when the wind hits.

Surrounding trees should also be regularly checked for dead branches and kept trimmed to keep the overall structure more solid and wind-resistant.

Finally, when you know a storm is coming, have a thorough check around the exterior of your property and bring in any lawn furniture, trash cans and other loose items. You’ll be doing your entire neighborhood a favor, because the less there is to potentially blow around, the less risk there is of any single home being damaged.

 

What about water damage?

Flood

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This is the other main concern when storms hit, as damaged water mains and overflowing lakes, rivers and sewers are common during severe weather.

Even when it’s not stormy outside, it’s important to waterproof basements to be sure of avoiding mold and long-term water damage. An unprotected basement is pretty much dependent on luck to stay dry.

Any heavy rainfall or a lot of melting snow, such as in winter or spring, can be enough to flood a basement. Even in milder weather, gradual groundwater seepage can create a damp environment where mold can easily grow.

That’s not to mention the potential damage to your property due to water damage when floods happen. As basements are often used for storage of delicate assets including family photos, books and furniture, the effects of flooding can be devastating.

Self-applied sealants allow anyone to do their own basement waterproofing, even in old homes with lots of cracks and holes along the walls and floor. These do-it-yourself products are great for cheaply and quickly boosting protection from water damage at any time.

It’s also vital to ensure the seals around anywhere water is drawn in the house are regularly checked. Bathtubs and showers, faucets and toilets can all gradually seep water and then become a source of flooding if storm damage occurs. Having a pressure release valve installed in your water system can help avoid this.

Storm damage is a common problem in the United States, but there are steps any homeowner can take to minimize the risks themselves. As a bonus, insurance premiums are likely to fall when the house becomes safer!

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Stay Safe While Enjoying The Great Outdoors

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When the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time to start enjoying the great outdoors again. Whether it’s hikes, dog walks or bike rides, if you have some gorgeous scenery nearby or don’t mind a drive to the country it’s a chance to get some light exercise and fresh air after being cooped up for most of the winter! However, there are a few safety precautions to bear in mind when you’re headed into the great outdoors. Here are some things to kit yourself out with before your next trip.

 

Bug Repellent

If you’re going to be walking around marshy or boggy areas, woods or in long grasses, then an insect repellent is a good idea. Midges, fire ants, ticks, and leeches can all bite and cause unwanted symptoms. Use common sense too, don’t walk through ants nests and generally keep an eye out for creepy crawlies when you’re out and about.

 

First Aid Kit

Hopefully, you’ll never need it-but if you do, you’ll be glad you brought it along. Some plasters in case you get a blister, antiseptic cream and wipes for bites and stings are useful for minor injuries. Some gauze and bandages to halt any bleeding and create a sling in case of any more serious injuries can be useful too. A small first aid kit containing a few essentials won’t weigh your backpack down too much.

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Sun Protection

Protecting yourself from the sun when you’re going to be outside all day is crucial. If there’s a bit of a breeze, you might not even realize you’re getting burned until it’s too late. Protect yourself with a sun lotion with a high SPF, being sure not to miss any areas such as your neck and the backs of your hands. Wearing light, long clothing items such as full-length sleeves and trousers is also useful (these are handy to stop bug bites too). Go with a breathable material like cotton, so you don’t feel too warm. A hat to protect your head and shade your face and some sunglasses to protect your eyes are also important.

 

Suitable Footwear

When you’re out in the great outdoors doing a lot of walking, you need the right footwear. Sturdy walking boots that comfortably support your feet and provide good grip on the different types of terrain. A good trick is to wear two pairs of socks in your walking boots, one thick and one thin. That way the layers rub together as you walk, rather than the boots rubbing against your feet.

 

Compass and Paper Map

Mobile phones have GPS and maps on them these days, but what if you go somewhere where there’s no signal? To prevent you from getting lost, these essentials will allow you to work out where you are and where you need to go. From a safety point of view, making sure you keep some charge in your mobile phone is useful too. If you wanted to get away from technology, just switch it off and keep it in your bag.


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Kick Asphalt: Teach Your Kids About The Dangers Of Driving

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Cars are not toys. They can be fun, enjoyable and smile-encouraging, but they are not toys. That is a lesson we all got taught, and a lesson we will all have to teach our children. However, that can be easier said than done.

 

Driving is the very skill all teenage children dream of acquiring and all parents hate thinking about, which is entirely normal. Your child is excited by the new prospects of freedom and independence and you are terrified by the dangers of the road, and rightly so. Luckily, your worries don’t have to be kept as worries, because there are things you can do to better prepare your teenager for the road and ways you can teach them to be that much safer.

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Be The Example You Should Be

Whether your kid wants to admit it or not, you are their biggest hero. You are their inspiration. As such, they naturally mimic almost everything you do, and driving is no different. That means safe driving starts with you. It is a responsibility you need to uphold. If there is something you wouldn’t want your child to do, then it is imperative you don’t do it yourself because bad habits die hard. That means driving well within the speed limits, checking your mirrors, wearing your seatbelt and keeping a safe distance. It also means no texting while at the wheel, no ignoring signs and no speeding.

 

Teach them About The Costs

Chances are you are going to pay most of the costs of the car whether you like it or not, but you should set a time limit on that generosity so that they spend their first year on the road conscious of money. This will give you a good chance to explain how costs can be kept down. As such,  show them how much their current insurance premium is on moneyexpert.com and then show them how much they could save after just one year of safe driving. Teach them about the diesel versus petrol, and about car tax, and how accelerating fast and braking hard can waste fuel. If they know these things will help them save their own pennies then they will listen for sure.

 

Help Them With An Emergency Kit

Cars may not be humans, but they were built and designed by them which means they are still prone to human error. Cars have problems. They break down, or get flat tires or just stop working. That is when an emergency kit comes in handy, and there is little worse than rooting around in the boot and finding absolutely nothing useful. The idea of your child being stranded isn’t pleasant, and that is why it is well worth packing an emergency kit in advance of any trip they go on. You can find an extensive list of must-haves at http://www.bankrate.com, but any and all emergency kits should include a spare tire, a jack, a torch, a first-aid kit, jump leads, de-icer and a tire iron from which to build on.

 

Let them Drive With You

There is no better way to learn than by doing. It is proven to be the most effective form of learning out there, which is why you should take every opportunity you can to share the driving responsibilities. Let your teenage kid take to the wheel, and take this chance to teach them a few things and let them improve their skills in a safe environment. It could be that they drive you to the supermarket to do your grocery shopping, or to school to pick up their younger sibling, or to their grandparent’s house. This will help you understand what their driving is like while also helping them to feel like they are contributing, and thus building their confidence to a safe standard.

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Be Honest With Them About The Dangers

Driving is dangerous; there are no two ways about it. It is one of the leading causes of death in the world. As such, it is crucial you have open and regular chats with them about the dangers of driving. This doesn’t just mean drink driving but distracted driving too, which can be lethal. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and it comes with a lot of responsibility. At the end of the day, strangers drive toward each other at speeds of up and over 70 mph with only a white line dividing them. It is madness, and it demands respect, concentration, and understanding. That is why it is important you sit down with your child and carefully explain the consequences of bad driving habits, driving under the influence and taking your eyes – or mind – off the road. It can kill, and that message needs to be understood.

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