In 2022, over a million homes were damaged or left without power after three consecutive storms in February.
But what steps can we take to protect our homes from damage during a severe storm?
Mark Eastham, CEO at Homeprotect, shares his top tips for protecting your home in severe weather.
Secure windows and entryways
A storm is not the best way to find out you have a leak or problems with the sealants around your doors and windows. Dangerous weather conditions can compromise the stability of doors and windows, and if left vulnerable, damage can occur.
Check your entryways closely to check the sealant is secure and not eroding and replace any unstable locks before it’s too late. Poorly sealed entryways could allow water to seep through into your home and have long-term consequences such as water damage, dampness or mould. This could also lead to a loss of heat or air conditioning, which will increase energy costs.
Silicone sealant can be tricky to apply and remove, so call in a professional for help.
Clear gutters and drains
Effective drainage is particularly essential during heavy rainfall to prevent the risk of flooding, but during winter months it is common for gutters and drains to become clogged with debris. Leaves, twigs, moss, and sediments can deposit into these spaces and eventually inhibit water flow, which often results in flooding.
The weight of overflowing gutters can also cause them to collapse, which poses an additional risk of water damage to your home.
If you’ve noticed your gutters getting blocked, clear them as soon as possible, as any destruction caused by broken pipes that were poorly maintained before a storm may not be covered by insurance. This can be done by wearing protective equipment and long-sleeved clothing.
Be careful as you scoop out any accumulated debris and dispose of it into compost or waste disposal bags before sluicing the remaining sediment away with a hosepipe or a bucket. Make sure to also not forget to place a wire mesh cap across any fall pipes to prevent further blockages.
Secure your garden and exterior
Intense winds, a common feature of storms, can cause tree branches to break easily, debris to move, or fences to fall – which can cause damage or leaks to your and your neighbour’s property.
During a storm, check the exterior of your property for any issues and ensure everything is secure, including securing any garden furniture or objects that could be blown away. Park your car in a garage, if possible, and check that TV aerials and satellite dishes are securely fastened.
If you notice any loose debris, tree branches or fence issues, call a professional for help, or ensure you wear protective gear such as protective boots, gloves, and a helmet to complete the job.
Ensure that there is no one underneath a branch before cutting it and collect any branches or debris to deposit at a local tip or have a garden waste collection service come to remove it.
Check your boiler
Look to see if your boiler has a frost protection setting. If so, this will sense if the water has dropped below a specific temperature to prevent it from freezing during a cold spell.
It’s always a good idea to have your boiler serviced regularly to ensure it’s at maximum efficiency throughout the year.