2020 has thrown plenty of challenges our way, from viruses to heatwaves and storms. There’s not much we can do to control the situation, but we can help to mitigate risk and protect our families and our homes with a few basic checks before and after a storm.
Before the storm
If a storm is predicted, take a moment to think of those things that have been on your to-do list for the past few days, weeks or months (years?!). If any of those undone jobs leave you vulnerable to the storm, move them up the priority list! Weeding can wait for another day, but fixing the wobbly fence post, clipping the unruly tree branch or calling a roofer to replace a missing tile or broken guttering really should be done before the weather hits – it could save you money in the future.
If you have a big list of outside maintenance jobs, prioritise them according to the damage they could do. If you have loose guttering or branches that could damage neighbours’ properties or be dangerous to the public, get them sorted asap. A guttering specialist or tree surgeon will be able to advise you on the best, safest course of action. If the list is dauntingly long, call a local handyman – they may be able to get the whole list done for you before the storm.
After the storm
It can be easy to miss storm damage such as missing tiles until it rains and you realise you have a leak. By that time, it will probably be too late to claim the damage on your insurance. Once the storm has passed, take a few minutes to look for:
- Missing tiles, damaged guttering, fascias or soffits that are not due to age or wear and tear
- Broken glass – check around your home and garden for signs that any windows have been damaged in your home, sheds or greenhouse
- Damaged garden furniture – hopefully, you will have managed to put away most garden furniture before the storm. If anything was too big to clear away or overlooked, check it for damage
- Garden damage – check trees for broken or damaged branches that could be hazardous in the future, and check fences and perimeter for storm damage.
If you notice storm damage
Whether it's flooding, uprooted trees, damage from a flying trampoline, or missing roof tiles, if you have suffered from storm damage, you could be covered by your insurance. As soon as you notice the damage, take photos and document the date and time of the storm, as well as when you noticed the damage. Contact your insurer to see if you could be insured; depending on your excess you may or may not decide to place a claim. Your insurer may insist that you use specific traders; if you need guidance on finding a local trader that you know you can trust, check out our directory of approved, vetted and rated glaziers, gardeners, roofers and more.