Batten Down the Hatches: Prepping Your Outdoor Living Space for Summer Storms


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The summer storms on the East Coast this year have been intense. Since such storms have the potential to damage your property, taking some time to make sure your patio is storm-ready is a great way to save yourself a headache down the road. Here are a few simple tips to keep your patio safe and storm-ready.

Trim Your Trees

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Fallen limbs and trees are often a primary cause of damage during severe storms. To prevent this, keep your trees’ limbs trimmed, especially if they overhang major elements like freestanding walls or fire features. When in doubt, hire an arborist to evaluate the stability of your trees and verify whether they’re in good condition.

Prevent Fly-Aways

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If you’re anticipating a storm, take time to secure things like potted plants, umbrellas, gardening and pool equipment, and anything else that could blow away. If you have heavier items that can’t be brought inside, use bungee cords to tie them in place.

Promote Drainage

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Water damage can result from a heavy storm. While a well-designed patio will naturally promote drainage, take the time to make sure your gutters and downspouts are also clear. Your downspouts should direct water away from the foundation of the house and patio to prevent water from pooling. Clear gutters will prevent flooding and water build-up in unwanted areas.

Fill Your Pool

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A common myth is that swimming pools should be drained before extremely damaging storms such as hurricanes. However, you want to keep your pool full to serve as a guard against flying debris and to keep vinyl pools from pulling out of their foundations in case of extremely heavy wind.

Buy Waterproof

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When investing in items like grill covers, pergola covers, or other awnings, buy waterproof products wherever possible. There’s a difference between something that’s water resistant, which means it’s designed to withstand light moisture, and waterproof, which means it can handle high-volume rains. Buying waterproof guarantees the longevity of your awnings and anything you’re covering. If your items aren’t waterproof, you can also try using a waterproofing spray like Scotchgard to add some water resistance.

Keeping your outdoor living space ready for a storm doesn’t need to be a huge task. Doing a little bit of prep and cleaning up things like debris in the yard every time you’re outside will make a big difference. If you know a big storm is coming, preparing ahead of time will go a long way.