On average, the Philippines experiences around 20 cyclones each year, which may put your home at risk. While strong winds may cause debris to fly and hit structures, heavy rainfall may cause moisture build up, resulting into mold and bacteria formation. Even worse, continuous rainfall can lead to flooding within your home. However, planning ahead can ease these problems or even help you avoid them altogether. Here are some tips on how you can secure your home before the bad weather strikes.
1. Cut dead tree branches hovering above your house.
Strong winds from the storm might cause dead branches to break and fall on your home, causing damage. This is why you should take time to remove them before the onslaught of rains.
2. Clear drainage and gutters.
Rain water should be able to pass through drains and gutters to avoid flooding. Remove leaves stuck in the gutters of your roof so water does not overflow and enter through the windows. Also, make sure to clean your drains regularly because aside from flooding, clogged drains may also breed insects and cause bad smell.
3. Patch up leaks and holes in your walls, ceiling and roof.
Check your walls for cracks where moisture can seep in, and fill them up with concrete caulk. Make it a habit to inspect your roof at least twice a year for holes, cracks and rusty spots. Replace or patch up defective roof tiles to avoid water from entering. For your ceiling, use adhesives to stop leaks and to prevent moisture build up.
4. Make doors and windows airtight.
Secure gaps in doors and window frames to keep draft and rain from coming in. One trick in looking for gaps is to move a candle around the frames to see where it flickers, which indicates air passing through. Swelling of doors and windows because of moisture can be prevented by applying wax or polish. Make sure hinges are also greased to keep them from rusting.
5. Tidy up unattended electric wires.
Clean up loose wires and water leaks in electrical boxes and switchboards around your house to avoid short circuits as electrical failures may happen during the storm. Make sure to also unplug appliances when not in use, and to never operate switches with wet hands.
6. Roll up your carpets and pin the curtains.
Aside from producing a bad smell, wet fabric increases the moisture inside the house, and attracts a lot of dust. This is why it is advised to stow away your carpets and curtains during monsoons. If they get wet, dry them under the sun as soon as the skies clear up.
7. Seal your furniture.
For wooden furniture, use polish or wax to seal away moisture, which may attract insects and termites. Instead of a wet rag, use a dry rag in wiping your furniture to absorb moisture, which might cause them to rot. If you are leaving your home for a long period of time, move your furniture to higher ground. If you cannot do this, you may also cover them in plastic.
8. Secure your valuables.
Wrap your gadgets and other valuables in cotton and put them in plastic bags to stop moisture from destroying them. Store cash and other important documents in a waterproof envelope and keep them nearby in case of emergency.
9. Use sandbags to keep floodwater away.
As a first line of defense from flooding, put sandbags in the low areas of your house.
10. Let fresh air pass through.
If necessary, install ventilators inside humid areas in your house to avoid moisture build up, which may be harmful to your family’s health.
Spend more time being with your loved ones and less time on worrying about the bad weather! Keep your home safe and dry by following these simple tips and make staying at home even more enjoyable, knowing you are protected.