How to prevent storm damage
We all like a good joke about the weather but dealing with storm damage is no laughing matter. Here’s how to protect your home from severe weather.
By Sarah Lewis
Before the storm
Keeping on top of basic home maintenance tasks can help your property withstand the worst the British weather can throw at it. It’s a good idea to:
- Check your roof
Look for loose or missing tiles, crumbling pointing or any other signs of damage. Also check your television aerial and satellite dish are firmly attached.
- Secure your fence
Make sure fence panels are fixed in place and garden gates are in good condition. You don’t want panels flying away or gates swinging wildly in the wind as they could cause injury or further damage to property.
- Remove hazardous branches
Cut down loose or overhanging branches in your garden, particularly those close to windows or power lines. If a tree is planted in a neighbours garden but branches overhang your property then you have the right to cut back those branches (probably best to mention it to them first though).
- Keep gutters clear of moss and leaves
Gutters aren’t teeth, you don’t have to clean them every day, but if they overflow during a downpour then it’s time to give them a good clear out. Once finished make sure they’re securely fixed in place.
The above jobs may be best left to a professional. If a task involves climbing up a ladder or working near power lines, be sure to get expert help.
When a storm’s approaching
If a storm’s on its way, don’t panic. There are still plenty of ways you can minimise the impact of the elements.
- Secure garden furniture
Put away ladders, garden furniture, children’s toys or anything else that strong winds could send hurling around.
- Close and fasten doors and windows
Don’t forget to secure less frequently used entrances, like loft trapdoors.
- Park vehicles in a garage, if you can
If you have a garage, use it. If you don’t have one, try to park well away from trees, walls or fences that could fall in the face of strong winds.
- Keep pets indoors
Unsurprisingly, your pets will not enjoy the effects of a storm. Make sure they are safe and small outside pets are brought indoors.
- Prepare a storm emergency kit
Be prepared just in case you need to leave your home. Pack warm clothes, medicines, a torch and batteries.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you have your MyAviva login details to hand, just in case you need to get in touch.
During the storm
Once a storm hits, stay indoors as much as possible. Only head outside if it’s absolutely essential.
If you do hear something in your home break, stay safe and don’t try to repair damage until the storm is over.
After the storm
If your home or belongings have been damaged, contact your insurer as soon as possible and let them know what’s happened.
List any damage to your property and don’t throw anything away in case it’s needed for the claims process. It’s also a good idea to photograph or video the damage.
While you wait for professionals to take care of any significant repairs, there are some things you can do to start the clean-up and the claims process:
- If you need to claim, then use MyAviva to log it online. This is the quickest and easiest way to get details of your claim to us.
- Use a plastic sheet to temporarily patch up damaged parts of your home that you can get to safely and easily
- Check in on vulnerable neighbours or relatives and help them make any arrangements for repairs
- Remember to keep clear of electrical or telephone cables that have been blown down or are hanging loose
- If you have been quoted by a local tradesperson for repairs to the damage caused by a storm, then you can log them on MyAviva. Again, this will speed up the claims process
Remember, you’re in safe hands. Insurance companies have lots of experience in dealing with extreme weather events like storms and the damage they cause. We work with a large network of local contractors, so if a storm does strike we can get help to you as quickly as possible and get you back on your feet.