How to Protect Your Home from Summer Threats

Summer has finally arrived along with warm weather and vacation. But before the fun begins, it’s important to prepare your home for summer threats. A combination of proper insurance and smart home technology can also help you protect your home during busy, warm months.  

Smart home devices enable you to manage your home even if you’re at the pool, out hiking, or on vacation. If a heat wave rolls in, a smart thermostat lets you use an app to kick up the thermostat, so the house doesn’t get too hot, especially if you have a pet at home. If you also have smart shades, you could lower them to help to keep the sun out. Or, other smart home tools can run on a schedule, automatically closing shades during the hottest hours of the day and turning sprinklers on based on the town watering schedule if there’s a shortage. Notionoffers smart home starter kits that include sensors to monitor water leaks, home temperature, and windows and doors. Data from these smart home devices and automatic schedules help to make sure that the home environment is optimal and there will be no surprises, providing you with peace of mind while you’re on vacation, at work, or at the beach.  

But extreme heat waves can cause damage to the home inside and out, and many effects don’t have a simple technological solution. The Weather Channel outlines five ways that heat and humidity can cause home damage, including drying and shrinking soil surrounding the homes that can cause cracks in the foundation causing it to lose support, allowing water to enter the basement. Humidity build-up in basements and attics results in excessive moisture which can warp floors and damage shingles causing roof leaks. Pipes that are not properly sealed may also become a threat to your home as extreme heat arrives, and may begin to leak as water usage from pools and gardens begins to increase.  

Summer also brings hurricane season to the East coast, bringing threats of severe flooding and wind damage to homes. To prepare your home for hurricanes, start with securing all windows, doors and rooftops to prevent water from coming in. Also remember to clean up all outdoor furniture and landscaping items to prevent strong winds from blowing these items around your yard and causing and damage. There’s not yet smart home technology that can shield against a hurricane, so it’s important to have the right insurance policy for protection against summer weather threats. If you live in hurricane territory, it is important to know what’s covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.  

Average homeowners’ insurance will not cover damage from flooding and wind due to a hurricane. It’s important to purchase flood and windstorm insurance separately if you’re in a hurricane zone, to ensure that you are protected from damage if a hurricane were to come your way. Accu Weather identifies the five U.S. cities that are mostly likely to be hit by hurricanes. Typically, you want wind coverage for the entire value of the home because major hurricanes can often lead to total losses. Wind coverage is offered by private insurers and, where homeowners are too close to the coast to get wind coverage from their insurers, there are state pools that offer coverage such as citizens in Florida and TWIA in Texas. It’s also important to note the deductible level, which is usually expressed as a percentage of the overall value or replacement cost of the home. Deductibles can vary from 1% to 5% or more so be sure to read the fine print

This season it’s important to double-check your risks and coverage to avoid costly claims as a result of summer-related home damage. Smart home technology paired with proper insurance coverage allows for optimal protection and on the spot warnings if disaster ever were to strike your home.  A combination of insurance and smart home technology can ensure that you have a successful, relaxing summer with hopefully no headaches.

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