Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. Summer seems to be a distant memory now with the arrival of the winter storm season underway. We have already seen storms hit the UK earlier this year with Storm Ali and Broagh in September and Storm Callum hitting the west coast of Scotland and Wales earlier this month.
With recent storms hitting the UK coast at over sixty miles per hour in many parts of the country, the UK is currently in the midst of it with some newspapers and news channels reporting the the UK is predicted to be hit with 23 storms between now until the end of May 2019, leading to more building damage up and down the country.
The constant wind and rain battering on our homes
Harsh winds and constant rain can lead to a whole host of problems to your home from penetrating damp patches appearing on the walls to severe flood damage, leading to rot, mould and structural issues.
Any pre-existing issues become noticeable when a storm hits or intensify and unfortunately, you may not be aware you have a damp problem until it is too late. Preparing your home before storms can not only keep you and your family safe but could save you money in property damage in the long run. Avoid rain and damp problems ruining your home. Read on for our tips on how to storm-proof your home.
How to prepare before a storm
Check your home for potential issues. The simplest and easiest way to check your home – have a look on the outside and the interior walls of your home.
Take note of anything that could allow water to enter the building and prove dangerous during a storm. If necessary, get a professional to come in to fix any problems. Any cracks in the masonry or interior plaster, staining to the side or interior walls, raised flower beds that could allow penetrating rainwater or any changes to the landscaping that could cause groundwater penetration to basements and cellars.
Move belongings inside or tie down
When inspecting your home, look for anything that could be hazardous should a serious storm hit. Store anything that could cause damage when a storm is forecasted. Lock away large items earlier and take any safety precaution required for trees and debris around the home.
Do you have trees that could prove to be dangerous should they fall? If you think one of your trees or neighbours is at risk, get a tree survey conducted by a local arboriculturist to assess the structure and stability. We would recommend doing this prior to any weather forecast to be fully prepared.
Inspect and action basic maintenance
Damp can manifest in a property where water has any means of access. Any water or moisture that is allowed to enter your property through defects in the wall or roof can manifest into other damp issues. Check your roof and walls for cracks in the render or, missing tiles or damaged lead flashing that could allow water a place of entry.
While checking your roof, inspect your guttering and downpipes. Look for any cracks and try to keep the gutters and downpipes clear from debris. During Autumn, leaves and branches can fall and gather in your guttering. Any blockage or damage to your guttering or downpipes can result in water overflowing onto foundations and brickwork. Remove anything that could cause a blockage with protective gloves and carrying out any necessary repairs.
If you are carrying out repairs or maintenance, always be careful of carrying out any work at a height and when using a ladder.
Flood Weather Warnings
If the weather is predicted to be severe, prepare for potential flooding. 5.2 million properties across England are directly affected by floods every year from overflowing rivers and winter storms.
If your home is susceptible to flooding, take all necessary steps outlined by the Floor Weather Service to Prepare Act Survive and to be kept up to date with the latest flood warnings.
Check-in with the Neighbours
You may have done the necessary checks on your home but do not assume your neighbours have. Fallen trees or debris can easily be blown over from a neighbour back garden or you may notice something from your property. Your neighbours may not even be aware of issues (or they haven’t read this nifty blog).
Calling in the Experts
If you do find yourself after a storm stains to the brickwork or interior walls, damp patches on the walls when the weather has calmed, it is time to call in a professionally certified surveyor in remedial treatment (CSRT surveyor) to carry out a property survey. Leaving a problem like damp or rot to manifest can cause more damage than good. Having one of our surveyors take a look at any problems can give you the peace of mind that, should a storm hit again, you are in a much better position.