Aside from power outages and disruption to travel, work and school, the series of recent storms may well have had an impact on your property.
Check your insurance
Whether or not damage caused by any of the storms will be covered depends on your insurance policy and the severity and nature of the damage. If your buildings and contents insurance does cover storm damage, you need to:
- Notify your insurer of any damage as soon as possible
- Take pictures showing as much detail as you can before you start clearing up
- Contact your insurer before you get anyone in to undertake repairs
Even if you are eligible to claim for storm damage on your insurance, it is a good idea to check your policy first. The excess and potential increase of your insurance premium could mean that it is not worth applying; if, for example, you have just lost a few tiles, it may be worth getting a quote from a local roofer before going down the insurance route.
In the garden
Trees, bushes and plants may have been blown down or damaged beyond redemption; fences and boundaries have disappeared, and garden furniture mysteriously ends up upside down in a neighbour’s garden! Don’t react instinctively by replacing what was there before; this is a great opportunity to think about how well that boundary, plant, or garden furniture worked for you and how you can improve upon it.
If you have lost a boundary fence or hedge, this is a good time to evaluate its location; did the fence go all the way up to your known boundary or did it leave a space of no man’s land in the middle? Don’t rush into putting the fence up exactly where it was before; this could be your chance to reclaim precious garden space! Likewise, if a hedge took a battering, you could gain extra space by digging the hedge out completely and replacing it with a fence and a ready-made flower bed or vegetable patch.
If your trampoline or garden furniture took to the air, it is a good idea to rethink what you need before buying the same again. Contact a local carpenter or handyman to see if damaged items can be repaired instead of replaced, or keep an eye out for good quality secondhand items which can help to save some money as well as being more environmentally friendly.
Preventing future damage
Blocked drains, damaged gutters and missing tiles may seem like a minor inconvenience now, but they could lead to serious damage in the future. If you are lucky enough to get away with minimal damage, get a professional in to fix it before it becomes a bigger problem. A local handyman might be able to fix all of the issues in one go and help keep your home safe and protected against future storms.