learning the basics of home septic systems
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learning the basics of home septic systems

A septic system is something that is easily forgotten until something goes horribly wrong. What should you avoid running down your kitchen sink? Is one type of toilet paper safer to use than another? How often does your septic tank really need to be cleaned? These were just some of the questions that I had about my septic tank after it had backed up and filled my yard with raw sewage. Since then, I have spent hours researching septic systems so that I would not have to go through that again. I have developed my website to make learning about septic systems a little easier for others like me.

learning the basics of home septic systems

Living in Tornado Alley: 3 Things You Need To Know About Your Garage

Matthew Young

Tornado season is a very rough time of the year for many homeowners living throughout tornado alley. Not only must you be conscientiously aware, you must also ensure that your home is ready for tornado season. However, there are a few things you need to know about your garage, particularly your garage door, before a tornado strikes.

Replace and Reinforce Your Garage Door

Tornadoes are often rated on a scale based on the strength of the tornado's winds. The scale ranks tornados from an F0 to an F5. An F0 is the smallest ranked with wind gusts that range between 40-72 miles per hour. An enhanced measurement of tornado damage is available via the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which puts an EF0's 3 second wind gusts between 65-85 miles per hour. This is important information to know when it comes to reinforcing areas of your home.

Your home contains several weak points in terms of high-wind and storm damage resistance. Your garage door just so happens to be one of those weak points. Some newer doors, particularly in Minnesota, are built to endure 90-mile-per-hour winds for approximately a few seconds, which is 10 miles per hour more than previous door standards. 

Newer doors would only be able to withstand the winds of an F0 tornado, but anything beyond that could damage the door. Tornado wind speeds can range from 40 miles per hour to an excess of 318 miles per hour. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you add extra reinforcement to your garage door.

Barricade the door using heavy objects, such as furniture. Secure the door in place using beams, if possible, to add an extra layer of strength and protection. Furthermore, you can speak to a garage door technician about repairing hinges and the installation of horizontal bracing to help protect your home.

The more security you add to your door, the more you are able to minimize damage to your home. If the garage door happens to come off in a tornado, winds and pressure changes that enter the home can blow off the roof and lead to accelerated wall collapse.

Avoid Your Garage at All Costs

Since the garage door often fails to withstand the high winds of a tornado, it is best to avoid seeking shelter in your garage. Instead, it is highly recommended that you seek shelter in a basement. If no basement is available, choose a sturdy closet with a central location in the lower area of your home.

You should especially avoid your garage and other areas of your home that are located in areas of your home that will take a direct hit from a tornado. Research regarding tornadoes was able to debunk a myth that claimed homeowners should take shelter in a southwest corner of their home. The myth stated that if a tornado struck from the southwest, the debris would cause significant damage to the northeast area of the home.

Listen to the news reports to determine which direction the tornado is approaching from and seek shelter on the opposite side of your home if possible. The research showed that the side of the house hit by a tornado commonly receives more damage than the opposite corner of the home. This information is particularly useful if you do not have a basement or a centrally located closet to seek shelter in.

Opt for a Windowless Look

If you plan on replacing your garage door before tornado season comes back around, opt for a windowless door. Windows may also serve as a weak point when it comes to tornadoes. The goal that you should have in mind is reinforcing your garage door to add more protection to your home. A garage with windows may weaken your door in the event of a tornado or high-winds storm.

If your garage door has windows, make sure you block them off with plywood, plastic, and heavy duty nails. In the event that the windows on the garage door shatter, you will be able to minimize air pressure that enters your home thanks to the plywood and plastic.

Should your garage door sustain damage during a tornado or other severe storm, contact a garage door specialist like Allied Garage Door Inc near you. Repairing your garage door is essential in terms of securing your home against the threat of a tornado. Furthermore, a garage door that is damaged during a tornado leaves your home vulnerable to the unwanted and unwelcomed entry of potential burglars.