John Pasciuti's Blog
The windows in your home not only supply security while allowing fresh air and natural light to filter in, but they are also essential to keeping energy costs down and they contribute to the overall value of your home. During a windstorm, here are some ways you can protect your entire home as a real estate investment. These tips can reduce the chance of broken windows that can lead to interior flooding and other structural damage.
Install Impact Resistant Window Film
If you own real estate property in areas that are prone to high winds such as the East Coast (North of Georgia), West Coast, and North Central Regions (Michigan, Illinois, Ohio), window film will make your windows more resistant to shattering. Window film can also serve double-duty, making it more difficult for a burglar to break your windows and gain access to your home.
Clear Your Yard of Debris
It is typically not the wind that shatters windows, but debris from the yard that is thrown at the home. Remove branches and tree limbs, outdoor furniture and any objects that can be picked by the wind. Any medium-sized or heavier objects can become projectiles including garden tools, grills, sports equipment, and bicycles.
Close Your Windows
High winds from hurricanes are often part of low pressure systems. In the past, it was suggested to open a few windows to allow the home's interior to equalize in pressure. Current practices suggest that your home's interior pressure will equalize on it's own, because no home is completely airtight. It is best to close the windows to limit interior damage due to extremely high winds.
Thick Plywood in a Pinch
If your home does not have shutters and the weather forecast calls for sustained and powerful wind gusts, nailing plywood over your windows is the next best option if your home does not have storm shutters. You only need to consider boarding up your home if the winds are forecast to be straight-line winds and you only need to protect the windows that are directly facing the direction of expected high winds.
These tips can help keep you and your family safe indoors during a windstorm. Review your home insurance policy on a regular basis. As climatic activity increases, you may decide to add insurance that will cover damage due to heavy wind or rain.
As homeowners, we can get fairly strategic about hiding the flaws in our home. We might move the sofa over a water stain on the hardwood or put a rug over a crack, tear or discoloration. While you'd never try to hide this stuff from potential homebuyers, it does keep it out of view when guests come over. And at least for a moment you too forget the damage is there.
But covering floor damage isn't always your best option. And knowing when to cover and when you resurface is vital to your home's health and happiness.
When Not to Cover
Don't cover if:
In these scenarios, it's time to refinish the floor. Here's how it's done.
How to Refinish a Hardwood Floor
First, check to make sure your floor is refinishable. A faux wood floor can be convincing. If it's laminate, then you'll need to replace it. But the good news is that you may only have to replace sections if they still make the product.
You can refinish:
Remove everything in the room, including items on the wall. Dust will get everywhere. It's easier to clean up if you have fewer surfaces to dust afterward.
Next, rent an electric floor sander. They come in coarse, medium and fine. You need all three to do the job, starting with coarse then moving back to fine. Always put on your safety goggles when using a hand or electric sander.
If you have any nicks to fill, use wood putty. Slather it over the area. Let it dry. Then sand with a hand sander using fine sandpaper.
Remove the dust you produced while sanding with a dust filtered shop vacuum. But you'll find that doesn't get all of it. A wax-impregnated cheese cloth can pick up what remains.
Now, apply at least two coats of your polyurethane, varnish or penetrating sealer. Let that final coat dry at least 24 hours before moving furniture back in.
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