Consumer Reports

How to prevent summer damage to your home

NBC Universal, Inc.

Summer isn’t all fun in the sun. More and more, it includes dangerous heat and severe storms, but there are ways to protect yourself and your home. Consumer Reports explains that a good defense against Mother Nature’s warm weather wrath starts with DIY projects around the house.

Climate change brings more frequent and destructive weather from coast to coast. That’s led to a dramatic increase in many homeowner’s insurance policies. But that price hike doesn’t mean you’re getting more coverage.

Homeowners insurance generally doesn’t cover water from outside your house, so it’s not a bad idea to supplement your insurance with a flood policy.

Even without a flood, extreme heat can damage water in surprising ways, specifically with your plumbing. Take metal pipes: They can expand and contract and, over time, leak.

You should inspect your plumbing routinely or have a plumber do it regularly. You could also consider installing a leak detector. They’re a little expensive up front but can save you tons of money in the long run. Consumer Reports recommends the leak detector, Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff System 900-001, which costs $500.

Extreme heat can wreak havoc on your roofing even when the weather is dry. It’s essential to inspect it and look for damaged shingles or tiles and replace them before they leak and cause more damage.

The heat could overtax your air conditioning system. Regularly replacing the air filters and scheduling routine professional maintenance will help avoid pricey repairs later.

High heat and humidity can also create the ideal conditions for mold and mildew. You want to keep the humidity inside your home between thirty and fifty percent. Anything higher and mold and dust mites can thrive. A dehumidifier can help with that. Consumer Reports tested dozens of dehumidifiers and found that the Midea MAD50C1ZWS, priced at $250 for larger rooms, does a great job of removing water from the air, which helps maintain the ideal humidity in your home.

If you’re concerned about power outages, a portable generator can help power the essentials in your home. You’ll want to store a generator in a clean, dry, and ventilated spot that you can access easily and that is NOT attached to the house. You’ll want to have at least 10 gallons of fresh gasoline on hand in a safety container, adding fuel stabilizer to help it last as long as possible.

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