8 Safe Storm Cleanup Tips
The weather may have cleared, but you're not out of danger just yet
From a nor'easter to a snopocalypse, extreme weather can take a toll on home and yard. Whether you've hunkered down or are returning after an evacuation, post-storm cleanup calls for caution. Here are some of our best tips.
Before you enter a waterlogged home, turn off the electricity. Wearing protective gear, suss out the situation and take it slow. Pumping water from a building too quickly or too early can cause structural damage or a cave-in, says David Miller, an administrator with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division. Learn more about drying out a wet basement.
Is your basement always a little bit wet? This Old House TV general contractor Tom Silva shows how to install a sump pump.
So you've got the water out. It can still cause plenty of problems—like mold. Act fast: Mold never gets better on its own. Here's how to prevent and get rid of it. The EPA has issued guidelines for mold removal, but if the affected area is more than 10 square feet, call a pro.
TOH TV plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and host Kevin O'Connor show how to handle a mold situation.
If you're lucky, you'll only need to rake some leaves and pick up fallen branches. Anything bigger, though, and you'll have to break out the chainsaw or call in an expert. Find out how to determine whether your tree can be saved.
Window glass is a common casualty of fierce storms. But—especially if your area's been hit by a big one—repair pros will be busy with other work. Tom shows you how to repair door glass yourself.
Heart attacks spike after heavy snowstorms. Here are a few hacks for stress-free snow removal. Coffee and smoking both speed your heart rate and constrict blood vessels, so shovel first, sip later. (Smoke never.) Try pushing the snow, plow style. And spray silicone lubricant on the shovel blade so snow will slide right off.
A deep freeze, even just overnight, can wreak havoc on your plumbing. If you wake up to a trickle or water's running in only some parts of the house, don't fret. You can prevent a burst pipe. All you need is Richard's tips on thawing frozen pipes.
Asphalt, concrete, pavers, stone: Different kinds of driveways call for different snow-removal techniques. This handy guide on shoveling will help you keep your driveway ding- and damage-free.
Watch TOH TV landscape contractor Roger Cook in action as he shovels and salts packed snow and ice on a concrete walkway.