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Are you prepared for Storm Jonas?

January 26, 2016Tags: property maintenance | insurance

In the wake of Storm Jonas, which hit America’s East Coast last weekend, forecasters are predicting that Britain could face severe weather conditions in the days to come. Flood alerts have already been issued by the Environment Agency and yellow weather warnings sent by the MetOffice to residents in  Wales, Scotland and the North West – with the risk of high winds, river flooding and standing water on roads considered a major risk.

It’s not great news but, in advance of any bad weather arriving, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of damage to your property:

  1. Inspect your roof to see if you can see any loose or cracked tiles that could potentially fall or be damaged further in the high winds. Damp or discoloured ceilings internally could also indicate a problem which could worsen if heavy rain persists. If you have any cause for concern – including worries about flat roofs and the impact of standing water on them - contact a qualified professional roofer for advice. The National Federation of Roofing Contractors Ltd may be able to help.
     
  2. At the same time, if you have a chimney, check to see if there is any risk of it coming loose or falling – it’s worth also ensuring that satellite dishes and aerials are secure – if there are any concerns, again, consider getting expert help from an aerial erector.
     
  3. Check external gutters are clear of debris so that water can drain feely from them and avoid the risk of water overflowing from them or, worse still, internal damage. If possible, however, avoiding the risk of using a ladder yourself in high winds – and leave it to professionals who often have specialist equipment to tackle jobs like this   – possibly from ground level.
     
  4. Check that external doors are secure and well sealed to avoid the risk of water penetrating through them. If glazed check that there are no cracks in the glass which could shatter with the force of high winds and make sure that any PVC fittings are not showing signs of deterioration – it could lead to further damage if subjected to bad weather.
     
  5. If flooding presents a major risk to your property, it might be worth considering replacing ventilation bricks on your property – which allow water in – to be replaced with plastic air bricks instead. These automatically self-seal if flood water tries to ‘move in’.
     
  6. Looking outside, check that any free standing furniture, children’s toys, dustbins or garden ornaments are secured – or even temporarily housed in the garage as the bad weather takes hold.
     
  7. Clear any dead branches from around your property which could cause further damage if ‘thrown’ by high winds. Think too about sweeping leaves away to avoid the risk of slippery paths – you could even consider storing the leaves to create leaf mould which can be used as compost or a soil improver when the better weather arrives. Click here for more details. 
     
  8. Stock up on food. Might seem extreme but it could avoid the need to venture out for food and supplies when the bad weather arrives and, after all, having seen the impact of Storm Jonas in America, most would agree that the more that can be done in preparation for the bad weather, the better.
     
  9. Finally, it might be worth taking a look at your home insurance to check if you are appropriately ‘covered’ for damage to your property – or its contents – as a result of bad weather. If not, why not consider finding out how Your Move may be able to help you by accessing.