If your area is prone to storm warnings, you may want to check that your house is sturdy and guarded enough to withstand the bad weather. Here are just a few ways that you can prepare your home for a storm.
Fix up cracks. Not all cracks are worth worrying about—other may pinpoint dangerous structural damage. Other than allowing in rainwater leakage and drafts, cracks pose a weakness during a storm—growing larger and in extreme cases causing an entire wall to cave in. You can fix up hairline cracks with caulk. Anything larger may require hiring a surveyor who may be able to identify the severity of any structural damage, allowing you to get it fixed up before a storm hits.
Repair your roof. If you suspect that your roof is damaged, you may want to get this checked and fixed before the harsh weather arrives. A leak could let in water during a storm and cause further damage, whilst loose tiles could fly off and damage someone else’s property. Find a local roofing company that can survey the damage and fix it up. You may be able to locate and fix it yourself in some cases.
Unblock guttering. Guttering can often get clogged up with leaves causing water blockages. In the winter, these water blockages can then freeze up. This can be a real danger in a storm—a piece of frozen guttering could come off and have the effect of a fallen branch, breaking a car windscreen or damaging a window. Hire a professional to unblock this guttering before the storm hits.
Store away loose garden items. Deck chairs, tables and garden ornaments can all be picked up in a strong wind and cause extra damage. A safe option is to store these away in a shed before a storm hits, so that you don’t end up with a deck chair through your window. On a related note, you may want to fix up any loose fence panels that could be torn off by the wind. Check your neighbor’s fence too and let them know of the danger if you think there might be a storm on the way.
Tackle hazardous trees. Trees can be treacherous during a storm. Your average tree will be sturdy enough to put up with the strongest of winds. However, you should look out for leaning trees, old trees or ones that are slightly uprooted—you don’t want these falling down during a gale. It’s worthwhile hiring a tree surgeon to assess the danger and cut it down if appropriate. Some trees may be protected by a council and may require planning permission to remove. You should also check that removing the trees doesn’t affect your neighbors—if it’s overhanging their garden it could be providing privacy or shade and they may protest against its removal. Generally though, if a tree poses a threat, most people involved will be happy to have it removed—just make sure to always double-check first.
Photo by Duncan Maloney
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