We know it has been difficult times recently when it comes to the weather with it only getting worse with climate change. Therefore, we have put some guides together for you of what can be done. Simple steps to help you. These can limit damage caused by strong winds and heavy rain. Helpful throughout floods and storms.
Before the storm.
You should always look to ensure that you property is kept fully up to date. Not just now but all the way through the year. Regular checks on your home should take place to make sure they stand up to bad weather when it comes.
You should check the following;
Check your roof regularly.
Look for any form of missing tiles, crumbling pointing which is outside your building and any signs of damage. Make sure that the television Ariel and satellite dish are securing attached.
Secure your fence.
Make sure the fence panels are fixed in place and the garden gates are in good working order. You don’t want panels flying away or gates swinging wildly in the wind and causing damage.
Look at your trees and branches in the garden.
You need to look to cut down or remove any hazardous, loose or over hanging branches in your garden. You should always take care with those close to windows or power lines. Be careful as some trees can be safe guarded and not be removed or touched without speaking to the local authority. Always check with the local authority first to see whether it can be cut down.
Make sure your gutters are clean and clear of moss and leaves.
Overflowing gutters can cause a down pour very easily. It is always time to give them a good clean. Remember to make sure that they are securely fixed in place once you have finished.
You can employ professionals to deal with all the above especially if it comes to dealing with anything on a ladder and potentially power lines.
What to do when a storm is approaching.
You have heard there is a storm on its way first thing to do is not to panic. There are plenty of things you can do to help minimize the impact of the blowing wind and rain.
- Secure the garden furniture.
- Put away the ladders, children’s toys and anything else strong winds could set hurling around your property.
- Close and fasten down the doors and windows.
- Don’t forget to secure the entrances like loft traps etc and to make sure all the windows are secure.
- Park the vehicles in the garage.
If you have a garage then you should use it. If you don’t have one then make sure you try to park your car well away from trees, walls or fences that could fall in the face of strong winds.
- Always keep pets indoors.
You should make sure pets are protected and any small outside pets are bought indoors.
Always prepare for the storm.
You should always be prepared for a storm just in case you have one at any point. Make sure you pack warm clothes, medicines, a torch and batteries just in case there is no power.
It is also a great idea to make sure your insurance is always handy.
What can I do during a storm?
Once a storm comes you should always do your best to stay indoors and only head outside if it is absolutely essential. If you do hear something break in your home don’t try to repair the damage whilst the storm is in progress. It could be dangerous. The property can always be repaired thereafter.
What do I do after the storm?
If anything in your home has been damaged then you should contact the insurance company as soon as is possible.
You should make sure you make a list of all the damage to your property and don’t throw anything anyway in case it is needed for the claims process. It is always a good idea to take photos and a video of any damage that may have occurred.
You obviously need authorisation to carry out any repairs from your insurance company to see if you can do anything to mitigate your loss by using plastic sheets to temporarily cover damaged parts of your property. Remember to keep clear of electrical cables that are blown or hanging.
Please keep in safe in these storms.
Do you have an unoccupied property? Whether it is commercial or residential we can deal with it. Do you have collectables at your property that you cant currently insure with your home insurance? Why not contact us we have a product for this.
How to prepare for a flood.
It is always best to be prepared and make sure you are aware when a flood may be on its way. People often underestimate the damage of flooding to their homes even when they live in a high risk area. When looking to buy a new home or rent they often find that flooding is low priority. It is important you always check these.
Is your home in a flood risk area?
There is a Government website that has a flood risk checker. Just because you don’t live by a river or the sea don’t assume your property is not at risk. There are different types of flooding, including flash floods and these can happen at any time.
Has your home flooded before?
Homes that have flooded previously are at a high risk of flooding again.
If you live in a flood risk area, are there flood defences where you live or does your home have flood protection in place.
There are normally two different categories when it comes to flood defences. Some of these are flood resistant measures such as flood gates to help stop water entering the property. Others are flood resilient, like having tiled floors rather carpet to help reduce any damage the flood may cause.
Make sure your insurance covers flooding.
It is so important that you understand what your cover includes and you should check if the policy covers you for flood in the area. Especially if it is high risk.
What to do before a flood?
You should look to move electrical goods above ground level and upstairs at your first task. Obviously, things like heavy fridges are something you may not be able to move.
Move things upstairs.
Move as much furniture as possible to high level or upstairs. If there is something you want to protect that is too heavy to carry, move it away from the wall. This speeds up drying times if things do get wet.
Try to prevent water from getting in.
Laying sandbags at entry points is always a great line of defence in the face of a flood. If you cannot get hold of sandbags, fill a pillow case or plastic bag with garden soil will work as well.
Put your valuables somewhere safe.
You should always make sure that your valuables are stored where possible in a safe place. It is always a idea to check you have insurance. We have new policies for high risk items.
Take care of your paper work.
It is always important to keep documents in a water tight bag. Consider duplicate copies of documents or keep them on your computer. If you have a smart phone or tablet take a picture in case you lose the original.
Leave internal doors open.
If you do have a flood then door would not get pushed against the wall in this regard.
Fit a temporary toilet pan seal.
These can be fitted by specialists so they prevent back flow of flood water.
Make a flood emergency kit.
It is better to be safe than sorry so include things such as; personal documents, torch and batteries, wind up radio, spare mobile, wellington boots, waterproof clothing, first aid kit and blanket.
Be considerate also to your neighbours.
Stay flood aware.
Get real time flood warnings and advice from the environment agency and listen out for any local announcements in your area.
Make sure your insurance is up to date.
Most insurance policies have flooding as standard. However, if you live in a high flood risk double check you are covered.
What to do after there has been a flood?
We understand it is always distressful when you have had a flood. Once dirty water has entered your home it will be your priority to dry it out. It might be worth looking into a pump to help speed these things up.
- You should do the following;
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Don’t touch any electrics – They may have become damaged in the storm.
- Start to identify damage items, make a list, take photos and videos to speed up your claims.
Be alert to scams.
Unfortunately, independent flood or loss assessors may be in touch with you and offer to manage your insurance claim on your behalf. But they often charge a fee which can be taken from your settlement loosing you less money than you could have obtained. You should always contact your insurance company who will be able to manage the claims for you from start to finish. There is really no need to appoint a separate loss assessor. You will find that many insurance companies have access to the local and regional trades people to deal with items.
Flood-proofing your home.
You may want to think now you have had a flood how can I prevent it again in future.
Many insurers could help with funding local authority grant for flood resistance repairs. They can discuss the benefit of these when you make a claim.
Flood-resistant measure include; flood gates on doors and windows.
- Non return valves on toilets and other waste systems.
- Self-closing air vents to stop water entering your home.
- Replacing carpets with tiled, solid wood or concrete floors.
- Moving plug sockets and electrical equipment above the expected flood levels.
- Putting washing machines on plinths.
- Raising boilers and meters higher up.
- Installing free standing kitchen units on legs.
- Storing items on low shelves in baskets which can easily be removed in a flood.
- Keeping important or sentimental items upstairs.
- Replacing concrete or tarmac drives with more stronger materials like gravel or grass to help absorb the water in the ground.
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