No matter where you live, natural disasters are a concern for most homeowners. Even when a home is left standing after a major weather event, families are often left with a list of repair projects to fix their abodes and clean up their outdoor spaces. Many home-repair jobs are best left to the professionals — like those involving structural repair or electrical work — but the good news is that there are a lot of DIY projects you can take on to help your home look and feel as good as new. Our guide discusses the home repairs homeowners can make without the help of a pro after enduring natural disasters such as :
While these projects are simple repair jobs for most homeowners — even those without a lot of DIY experience — be sure you have complete confidence in your skills before beginning any task. Taking on a to-do item only to realize it’s above your ability level could cost you a lot in terms of time, money, and frustration.
Trim or Remove Damaged Trees and Shrubs
Landscaping that has been ravaged by strong winds, torrential downpours, or heavy snow not only detracts from your curb appeal, it can create safety hazards and additional damage to your home. If it’s safe to do so, trim back any branches that have fallen or are at risk of falling from trees, especially any that are dangerously close to your home. Keep in mind that branches that require a ladder to reach should be addressed by a professional tree trimmer, especially if you’ll need to use power tools to remove them or if they’re located near power lines.
It’s also a good idea to remove or replant any shrubs that have been uprooted. Other than tripping hazards, they may not pose a safety risk, but exposed holes in your yard could collect water and lead to flooding in your landscape if left unaddressed.
Learn how to care for storm-damaged trees here.
Replace or Reseal Your Door
If any of your exterior doors sustained damage during a storm, you should replace them immediately. In most cases, this is a simple DIY project. If the sealing around your door has been loosened or removed, you can also easily repair it without the help of a pro.
Reseal Your Windows
While window replacement is a job best left to the pros, resealing windows that were shaken loose during turbulent weather is a relatively DIY-friendly job. If you’ve recently experienced a weather event with strong winds, including a hurricane or tornado, it’s worth checking your windows’ seals, even if they don’t appear to be in disrepair.
Learn how to seal your windows here.
Replace Roof Shingles
When it comes to worst-case scenarios for homeowners, a damaged roof is high on the list. A full-scale roof replacement isn’t a DIY project, but replacing a few loose or broken shingles is for many. However, if you’re concerned about post-storm damage, it’s a good idea to have a professional roofer do an inspection, especially if yours is 15 years or older.
Learn how to replace roof shingles here.
Repair Leaky Gutters and Downspouts
Most gutters — especially those on older homes — are easily damaged or even pulled off in extreme weather conditions. Replacing them is a tedious and time-consuming process that’s worth the expense of hiring a professional to handle. However, if you notice leaks or if the seaming has come loose, you can mend your home’s gutters on your own, in most cases. If you have a multi-story dwelling, consider calling a pro for the job.
Replace the Siding on Your Home’s Exterior
It’s not only disheartening to see vinyl siding on the exterior of your home mangled, but it also makes way for other damage. It’s wise to leave major repairs to professionals, but most homeowners can repair a few broken panels on their own.
Learn how to replace damaged siding here.
Repair Damage on Your Deck
Heavy rain, snow, and even wind can take a toll on wooden decks. Whether you need to replace a few damaged pieces of wood or restain or reseal yours, you can take care of mending a deck that’s seen better days, even if you’re not an experienced DIYer.
Replace Damaged Sprinkler Heads
Replacing sprinkler heads is a simple DIY project no matter your level of expertise. Keep in mind that replacing sprinkler lines is a bit more complicated, because it involves digging up and replacing the grass in your yard, so leave extensive repairs to professional installers.
Learn how to replace broken sprinkler heads here.
Projects that Require Professional Help
After a major storm, it’s a good idea to call a specialist to evaluate any damage and offer a quote to make repairs, even if you’re an experienced DIYer. Not only will they alert you to any dangerous elements you may not be aware of — such as downed power lines — they may offer you a price that makes it worth offloading part of your to-do list.
In addition, be sure to hire a pro for any of these projects:
- Electrical work
- Structural work
- Major plumbing repairs
- Extensive roof repairs or roof replacement
- Tasks requiring you to stand on a high ladder while working
- Projects that use power tools you’ve never worked with before
Safety should be your main focus before, during, and after a natural disaster, but once the storm passes, there are a lot of DIY measures homeowners can take to repair damage to their dwelling. Only take on projects you’re confident (and comfortable) working on, and be sure to reach out to a professional for large-scale tasks and those that include dangerous elements.