High winds and lashing rain can wreak havoc on our homes if we are not prepared for extreme weather conditions.
Here is some expert advice on how to get ahead of the game and protect our homes, while saving money on costly repairs, before and during storms, as more adverse weather wends its way towards the UK this winter.
Secure outdoor furniture and appliances
If you have a shed, put away patio furniture, barbeques, trampolines and other sporting equipment. Or limit damage by anchoring down furniture with cables or chains if stuck for space.
Don’t forget to secure outdoor objects such as loose gutters, downspouts and wheelie bins, as these can cause significant damage in strong winds. Apartment owners must remove items from the balcony area.
Avoid tree damage
You can help to prevent damage by removing overhanging and dead branches near your home which might break off during strong winds.
Removing branches allows the wind to pass through trees and minimise drag. Branches that are close to a house or overhang should be trimmed back to limit the risk of window breakage.
Only consider trimming back branches if the trimmed limbs can be disposed of correctly as these can be picked up by the wind during a storm event.
Know how to deal with flooding
Check property perimeter
Check for loose or weak fences around your property and make sure they are as secure as possible. Fences often break free during severe winds and can cause damage to your property and that of your neighbours.
Lock up gates and close shed doors. Check the hinges to ensure shed doors are firmly attached.
Secure Your Roof
Take some time now to check your roof for missing tiles and ensure everything is secure before the next winds start picking up.
If you are particularly worried and there is time, consider asking a local professional to inspect your roof and seal down any loose tiles.
Protect Your Car
Park your car in a garage if available to protect it from falling trees or branches, or other objects uprooted by strong winds.
Cars get damaged during storms by debris such as flying branches or hoarding from nearby sites. Park your car away from risk areas such as large trees.
Check on neighbours
Do you have a vulnerable neighbour? Some elderly residents in your area may have difficulty clearing their gardens. A call from you could make all the difference in keeping their property safe.
Think of your pets
Stormy conditions can be scary for cats and dogs. Keep your pets indoors during adverse weather. Consider giving your pet a place to hide such as a box or enclosed space.
Prevent power surge damage
Power cuts are to be expected as storms approach. To prevent power-surge damage, unplug appliances that aren't in use when you know the weather is to turn nasty.
Close all windows and doors
A simple step to protect your home during a storm is to close every door and window. Doors whipping open and slamming shut might cause accidents. Closing doors and windows will prevent any wind from entering your home which may cause internal damage. An open window may be blown off its hinges during high winds.
Clear up debris safely
When clearing up, make sure to wear thick-soled shoes, long trousers and thick gloves. It may also be necessary to wear a mask to protect against dust. Avoid touching anything electrical if it is wet.
More help is available from: https://www.chill.ie/home-insurance/