Winter storms are a common occurrence across the country and sometimes it seems as though one has only just passed before another is on the way. This puts a strain on your home’s exterior. But it can also strain your family, as it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep or feel safe leaving your home when there’s a storm gathering outside. Storm-proofing is essential.
For peace of mind, it’s worth following a few storm-proofing tips to keep you, your family and your home safe and sound. Here are some of the most practical things you can do to protect your house.
COPING WITH HEAVY RAINFALL
One of the biggest things that storms bring is heavy rainfall. The amount of rain we experience has increased over the last decade and our winters are getting considerably wetter overall.
All this puts pressure on our home’s ability to deal with water. So, it’s essential to make sure your drains, soakaways and gutters are up to scratch. The better our home’s infrastructure can deal with large volumes of water, the less potential it has to cause damage.
What damage can water do? Poorly functioning gutters can cause water to seep through our walls and inadequate drainage can result in water backing up into the home, contribute to flooding and cause long-term issues including subsidence.
There are lots of things that can reduce the function of your drains, including clogging caused by things you put down the sink and toilet, tree roots and general disrepair. Whatever the issue, it’s important to resolve it to ensure your home is storm and winter-ready. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what’s slowing things down, but a simple CCTV drain survey will clear this up.
LIMITING DAMAGE FROM GALES
It’s not just gutters and drains that need keeping in good order to ensure your home is stormproof. Keeping roofs and chimneys well-maintained is also essential. Those who aren’t will be more susceptible to high and gusting wind damage.
Chimney stacks can stick out quite high above the roof, so they’re very exposed in extreme weather. But loose tiles can easily slip down and break, causing a hazard and leaving your home vulnerable to the rain. Carrying out visual checks each season and getting an annual roof inspection should prevent any unfortunate incidents.
However, it’s not just your roof and chimney you need to think about. Strong winds can also be hazardous if you have trees in your garden. So, keep on top of pruning to ensure branches aren’t overhanging your home and check regularly for signs of disease as this weakens trees, increasing their chance of causing damage. And before storms are due to hit, make sure bins, plant pots and other loose items are secured or put away to stop them blowing around.
DRAUGHT-PROOFING THE INSIDE
Of course, stormproofing isn’t just about protecting the outside of your home from damage. Howling and gusting winds can be more than just annoying when your home is old and draughty. You can feel it as it blows through the gaps and cracks. Not only does it make your home less comfy but it can mean you feel colder. And when you’re cold, you need to put the heating on more.
So, draught-proofing your home is useful for your family’s comfort and to reduce your bills in cold, stormy weather. Most draughts make their way through gaps around your doors and windows, but you may find floorboards and fireplaces also need some attention.
PROTECTING YOUR HOME
Finally, one of the most practical things you can do to protect your home from storms is to make sure you have the right insurance coverage. Your home insurance should cover acts of nature but to be certain you’re covered for all eventualities, including sewers backing up and rain damage, it might be wise to make sure you have accidental damage added to your policy. This can save any wrangles if the worst does happen as to whether the damage to your home was directly caused by a storm.
It’s also worth pointing out that insurance policies can fail to pay out if your home isn’t adequately maintained. This makes these storm-proofing tips even more important to follow.