With storms becoming fiercer and more frequent than ever, understanding the importance of storm-proofing your home is vital.
Strong winds can blow off roof tiles; flying garden furniture can crash into fences, windows or doors; and heavy rain can cause water damage and flooding.
When nature turns nasty, you’re going to want to ensure your family’s safety. After the recent Storm Jocelyn took the UK by storm, now is a good time to consider protecting your home before the next storm comes around.
We’re going to help you do just that in this straight-to-the-point blog on how you can stay protected and things you should do relating to your home insurance policy.
Trust us, it’s easier than you think & your future self will thank you!
How to know if a storm is coming
Staying one step ahead of the weather isn’t an easy task. But these days, weather apps and news bulletins can come in handy to give you a heads up on incoming storms. Not everybody watches the news or checks the apps regularly though.
If you use X (formerly Twitter), you may want to follow an account called @MetOfficeUK which provides official information from the Met Office on storms. You could even turn your notifications on so you’re even more alert of storm situations.
While it’s not possible to fully protect your home against extreme weather damage, you can still mitigate the risk to your property.
Four ways to protect your home from storm damage
1. Check your roof for loose tiles
Your roof is your home’s shield. There are two things that we advise checking: potential structural damage or leaks.
Inspect your roof for loose or cracked tiles as these are popular items that fall victim against storms. You may be able to spot any damaged tiles from the ground, but getting a qualified professional to check this for you is not a bad idea.
The last thing you want is water leaking into your home, so if you have a loft, you may want to check for water leakage too.
2. Make sure your gutters and external drainage aren’t blocked
Don’t forget about those gutters too; they are likely to fill with moss, leaves and other debris over time. Loose gutters can get blown away and blocked ones won’t drain the water properly, putting strain on gutter brackets.
Clean them out before a storm, and maybe consider getting an expert in to do this for you for increased safety.
Any loose items in your garden will be blown around by the wind, potentially causing it to damage yours or your neighbour’s home. Some popular items include:
We also advise trimming any trees and branches surrounding your home (within your grounds). By regularly trimming overhanging branches, it will help to prevent them from falling onto your property during a storm.
Fences can really take a hit during a storm as their large surface area means they catch high winds and are prone to blowing off their posts. Therefore, ensuring that fence posts and panels are in good condition and are properly anchored is important. You can do this by giving them a wobble to see if they move, or look if the posts move and if they could break free in stormy weather.
If a fence is blown over and damaged during a storm, home insurance won’t usually cover the repair or replacement. Therefore, it’s crucial that you take appropriate steps to secure your fences.
4. Review your home and contents insurance cover
Get to grips with your home and contents insurance. Cover will vary from policy to policy; if you don’t know exactly what you’re covered for, we urge you to check this. Knowing you’re covered can be a real stress-buster when the storms come. But fear not, we have compiled a checklist of things to check on your home insurance if you’d like some initial pointers.
You can also increase your home insurance cover by taking out home emergency cover. With this, you can arrange for an emergency repair quickly such as if:
Your roof gets damaged by a storm
Water enters your home as a result of fallen trees or branches
This way, you will know what you are and aren’t covered for if a storm or flooding damages your home.
For the second or holiday home owners
Just as you take steps to protect your own home, ensuring your holiday home is prepared for stormy weather is equally crucial. Whether it’s nestled by the coast or tucked away in the countryside, your holiday retreat faces unique challenges during severe weather too. Our holiday home insurance offering is designed to give you peace of mind, wherever you are.
Get a home insurance quote
To find out more about how home insurance can help you in the event of storm damage, get in touch with us here at Norton for a quote or more information.