Protect your home from severe weather

Protecting against storm damage

If a storm is forecast, doing the following will enable you to limit the amount of damage incurred by your home. The best way to prevent damage is to make sure that you watch out for any signs that maintenance is needed to your property and act on it before it’s too late:

• Ensure that items in the garden are either placed indoors or are tied down, particularly barbeques and trampolines.

• Gates should be bolted shut so they do not swing dangerously in the wind.

• Keep your fences and boundary walls in good condition so that they will be sturdy.

• Make sure that drain pipes and gutters are properly fixed in place and free from clutter which could become hazardous debris in a storm.

• Keep gutters and drains clear so that rain water can drain away.

• Replace any blown brickwork and fill in any cracks that you find.

• Keep external woodwork in good condition and renew weatherproof coatings on a regular basis.

• Ensure that any slipped or cracked slates and tiles are fixed or replaced as soon as possible.

• Look out for cracked or loose cement around ridge tiles or chimneys and get them repaired.

• Check on roof coverings regularly and replace them when they show signs of deterioration.

• Unplug all unnecessary appliances to avoid damage from power surges.

Preventing home flooding

The following tips can help you to prepare for flooding, minimising and even preventing flood damage to your home.

• Ensure that temporary flood defences are put in place such as sandbags, flood boards, floodgates and airbrick covers etc. Ideally you should have your own supply in place in case emergency services cannot reach you.

• Ensure that any valuable or sentimental items are stored upstairs or in the attic so flood water cannot reach and damage them.

• Plug sinks, bathtubs and low-level shower trays and weigh them down to prevent backflow – do not try to drain floodwater with these.

• Switch off gas, electricity and water if your home is likely to become flooded as this will reduce the risk of fire, electrocution and further damages.

Freezing temperature prevention tips

Freezing temperatures can cause a lot of unforeseen damage to a home. Most of this can be avoided by following these tips:

External: When temperatures drop, spread salt on garden paths, driveways and external porches so ice cannot form and cause a slipping hazard. Ensure that there are no cracks in any bricks, slates or tiles as water can get into them, freeze, expand and cause more damage.

Internal: The main problem associated with indoors in relation to freezing cold temperatures is that of frozen and bursting pipes. More tips on how to limit the damage associated with frozen pipes can be found in our article on Leaking Water Damage Prevention.