Protecting & Repairing your Home from Storm Damage
Recent weather here in the UK has been extreme, the winter of 2013/2014 was the wettest on record for the United Kingdom since records began in 1910 and this is thought to be in part caused by the Jet Stream being 30% stronger than usual. This has caused storms and then directed them towards us!
The South of England has been hit hardest with many parts suffering from serious and prolonged flooding, especially around the Somerset Levels. The Levels are a stretch of flat coastal land with a network of drains, pumps & coastal defences set up to prevent flooding, which were unfortunately insufficient to adequately cope with the recent weather.
Some steps that can be taken before a storm to try to minimise damage to your home and your belongings;
- Secure all garden furniture, barbecues and anything else loose in your garden that could be blown away by strong winds.
- Lock and secure all doors, and windows, including garage doors
- If you can park your vehicles away from trees
- If your chimney stacks may be in bad condition then move beds away from directly below
- the chimney stack/s.
- In the case of flooding sandbags can be used around the ground floor opening to the building.
Examples of storm damage can include;
- Leaks caused by heavy winds blowing water into a building and weakening window frames
- Dislodged guttering and extra debris in gutters causing blocks and extra weight
- Fallen roof tiles exposing a roof to the elements
- Damage to the roof, stonework or windows caused by fallen trees or fling debris
- Loss of damage to hanging signs or hanging baskets used for plants
It is very important when returning to your home after flood and/or storm damage to avoid contact with any cables that may be hanging or dislodged; they may be live and cause electric shocks. Also ensure that flood waters are dealt with as soon as possible as they may be contaminated with sewage or be hiding obstacles that could cause trips or falls.
Your insurance company will deal with your claim and it is advisable to have more than one company quote for works that need to be done, following extreme weather. Choose contractors that hold the relevant accreditations, such as;
- Safe Contractor
- Buying Force
- Trading Standards Approved
Insurance companies will not cover certain items such as removal of fallen trees, it is sensible to fully check your policy so you are aware of what will need to be dealt with separately in the event of extreme and destructive weather.