Protecting Your Home Against Storm Damage this Winter
19 October 2017
Posted by: Castleacre
Ophelia was one of the worst storms to hit Ireland in over five decades. The path of destruction across both the Republic and Northern Ireland left three people dead and led to widespread road and school closures, with trees and power lines brought down by winds that reached speeds of 96mph (156kph).
Climate change experts predict an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events in the longterm and storm damage is unpredictable and often difficult to prevent but maintaining your property can help you limit the impact.
Mitigating Storm Damage –
- Maintain your property – guttering should be leaf and debris free particularly in the autumn and winter; check roof tiles and chimneys and look internally at the roof to make sure timber is rot and vermin free; don’t forget to inspect drainage at ground level and window frames and latches.
- It is worth making regular inspections of trees within your property and on the boundary to check for disease and damage to larger branches and it is worth contacting a tree specialist if you have any concerns; in an ideal world large trees which are two close to your house should be removed but this isn’t always possible if a preservation order is in place. Power lines and oil tanks are suspectable too damage from falling branches and trees.
- It is advisable to maintain outbuildings and garden structures, green houses, walls and fences in the same way that you check your main home. If a major storm is forecast it is also advisable to secure or put away garden furniture and trampolines which can be dangerous in high winds and move cars and boats away from large trees.
- You should make sure that the re-build value of your property reflects the real value of what it would cost to re-build your home and it is advisable to employ a professional surveyor to help you identify the reinstatement/rebuild value particularly if your home is non-standard construction.
- Find an insurer that is knowledgeable and check the small print of your policy including alternative accommodation cover in the case of more serious structural damage.