With hurricane season approaching, homeowners in New Jersey are looking for ways to minimize damage to their homes and to the surrounding areas. Most hurricane damage comes from trees toppling over or branches breaking off during the storm. While only a tree expert has the skills to identify trees with potential hazards, there are things you can do to improve the safety of your family and your home before a hurricane strikes.
1. Examine the trees for overall good health.
Although you aren’t an arborist, you can probably notice if a tree is unhealthy. Signs include the following:
- decaying, broken, dead, or diseased limbs or branches
- fewer leaves than usual on the tree
- trunks with decayed or rotten areas
- termite damage on the trees
2. Look at the canopy of your trees.
If the trees create a dense shade where no sunlight shines through, you might need to have the canopy thinned by removing some of leaves. This allows the wind to move through the trees instead of building up so much force that branches break off or trees fall over.
3. Plant the right trees.
If you plant new trees on your property, you want to choose ones that are indigenous to the Northeast so they can thrive. It’s also best not to plant trees too close to the house or garage. By planting trees away from building, you reduce the chances of damage to the tree and damage from the trees during a hurricane.
4. Store all outdoor furniture and items.
Before a storm hits, bring all lawn or patio furniture indoors. You can put them in the garage or a shed. You also need to bring inside all toys, bicycles, playhouses, bird feeders, grills and other lightweight objects that can be thrown around by high winds. Flying objects can cause extensive damage such as breaking windows.
5. Be prepared for emergencies.
A hurricane can result in a number of scenarios depending on its intensity. To get through the hurricane with minimal harm, you need to make preparations to protect your home and family. For example, you can do the following:
- clean debris from gutters and downspouts to reduce flooding
- buy a battery-operated sump pump in case the power goes out
- have a small generator available for power outages
- create an emergency kit with first aid supplies, flashlights, battery-operated radio, drinking water and non-perishable foods
6. Think about getting flood insurance.
Flooding is often part of the damage caused by hurricanes due to the heavy rainfall. Most homeowners’’ insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. You can reduce financial risk by buying flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The rate depends on the flood risk level for the region you live in.
7. Schedule regular appointments with an arborist.
Regular inspections of the tress on your property are the best protection against hurricane damage. With ongoing tree care you can improve the health of sick trees, eliminate root rot and strengthen trees so they are less vulnerable during a storm. As a part of preventative maintenance, long-term tree care provides better results than trying to resolve a problem a few days before the weatherman predicts a big storm.
Hurricanes with high winds and torrential rains can lead to flooding, mudslides and trees falling over. The damage to your home and landscape can be extensive. However, with expert tree care on a regular basis, you reduce the chances of serious damage to your home. Although you can’t make your property hurricane resistant, you can safeguard your possessions and the lives of your family by hiring an arborist for regular tree maintenance.
To learn more about how an arborist helps to protect your home from hurricane damage, contact Bergholz Tree Experts today.