Fastest Ways to Prep for a Spring Storm

March comes in like a lion, but it doesn’t really go out like a lamb. Instead, the spring storms that arrive during this time of year depart like St. Patrick’s Day revelers who’ve had too much green beer—it can get a little messy. Since your house is just waking up from a long winter nap, right now it needs extra TLC. Below you’ll find some of the fastest, easiest ways you can get your property ready for the spring storm season. Some of these fixes are DIY projects while others may require professional assistance. Rest assured that Paul Davis Restoration/Emergency Services of Maine is here to help give your home a springtime makeover in preparation for the boisterous weather ahead.
Things That Go Boom in the Night
With thunderstorms, it’s not really the thunder that gets you—it’s the rain. The Northeast may not have as many thunderstorms as the Midwest, but we aren’t exempt from copious downpours in the spring. Warm, moisture-laden air travels over most of the country at this time of year, bringing much needed water to freshly sprouting vegetation. You’ll enjoy those May flowers. In the meantime, you may not enjoy the flooding and mold problems that happen when rain is too much of a good thing.
What to Do:
• Clean out your gutters and check them for leaks. Don’t forget to check the downspouts for hidden clogs. Use a garden hose sprayer and a plumber’s snake to unblock downspouts if necessary.
• Consider grading your lawn and installing French drains to direct water away from your foundation and prevent water from pooling in your yard.
• If you have a basement, ensure that the sump pump has a backup power source. Otherwise, it won’t do you any good during a thunderstorm accompanied by a power outage. Installing a backup sump pump is also a good idea. You might even install one with an alarm that lets you know when the basement is flooding. These days, alarm messages can be sent to your phone!
When Blizzards are Late to the Party
That final snowstorm can arrive even when all signs point to spring. In fact, the “Storm of the Century” in 1993 hit the entire eastern seaboard with unprecedented snowfall in the month of March. The East Coast can expect a final snow in March or even April before Jack Frost hangs up his hat for the year.
What to Do:
• Close the screen door on your front door and your sliding glass door. This provides you with a bit of a buffer if snow piles up against the doors. You can open the inner door to check things out without a heap of snow falling inside.
• Pre-treat sidewalks and walkways with de-icing products and sand. This can help break up potential accumulation in areas you may need to access to check for water and ice damage after the snowstorm. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover de-icer in your garage!
• Have any leftover snow from previous storms removed from your roof in preparation for a spring blizzard. Snow removal reduces the total load of snow on your roof and lessens the chance of collapse. This is especially necessary for spring snow because it tends to be particularly heavy and wet.
With Hailstones Like These, Who Needs Golf Balls?
Hail is something every Northeastern homeowner dreads, but it’s also a concern for the eastern seaboard as well. These storms are often accompanied by lightning and high winds. It’s like Nature is pitching a fit—when it all starts hitting the roof it’s not a pretty sight.
What to Do:
• Close your blinds, shades or curtains. Fasten these window coverings to the windowsill or wall with tape or tacks. That way, if hail does break a window, the glass won’t be blown throughout the room.
• Stock up on some plywood and plastic sheeting so you can immediately patch up damaged windows and prevent rain from getting inside your house.
• Use thick blankets to protect vehicles and other property that can’t be put under a carport or in the garage. This may reduce the impact of hail enough to avoid paint damage and minor dents.
• If the hail is severe and large (at least ¾” in diameter), go ahead and call a roofing restoration specialist while you wait it out. That way, you can be one of the first clients on the list for damage assessment and repairs after the storm.
Everyone Knows It’s Windy
High spring winds are common in the Northeast as the weather warms up. Knowing that you’ve done what you can to keep your house from being totally trashed can help you ride out these wind disasters.
What to Do:
• Consider protecting your home with roof tie-down clips. These clips anchor the roof deck to the frame of your house to make the whole structure stronger. Unlike many other roof upgrades, they don’t require extensive retrofitting.
• Install storm shutters and wind resistant doors. These can be helpful in protecting against wind, keeping out water and preventing damage from tornadoes that are accompanied by hail.
• Add a vertical bracing system to your garage door. This type of system takes only a few minutes to put in place (after initial installation) so you can prep your garage at a moment’s notice.
• Prune trees so that the branches are a safe distance away from the roof or other structures around the house. Branches scraping across the roof can do a lot of damage to shingles and flashing. Broken limbs falling on your roof can cause an instant leak.
• If a piece of yard furniture is light enough for you to lift it, high winds can probably pick it up too. Store loose furniture, toys, decorations, lawn equipment, and other items in a garage or shed. Offer to help neighbors move their lawn furniture too since windstorms don’t respect property lines!

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