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After the storm: how to check your property

After the storm: how to check your property
Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton
Posted:
23/01/2024
Updated:
06/02/2024

We may have only just got over Storm Isha, but Storm Jocelyn has already hit the UK.

The Met Office has forecast even stronger winds than those experienced during the weekend.

Homeowners may not yet be aware of the extent of damage done to their properties, but storms can wreak havoc on your home.

To help identify common problems as a result of storm damage, Toolstation asked its experts to create a quick damage checklist for homeowners.

Here’s what they said:

Post Storm Property Checklist

1. Inspecting gutters

Danielle Robinson, drainage and ventilation product category manager at Toolstation, recommended inspecting gutters after heavy winds.

She said: “You should examine gutters for debris and damage caused by heavy winds. Clogged gutters can lead to water pooling on the roof, which can cause damage to the roof fascia or tiles.

“This can result in damage to the roof insulation, mould and mildew build up, energy inefficiency and even structural issues which require costly repairs or replacement. Over time, this could lead to roof leaks.

“Gutters filled with dirt create an attractive environment for pests such as birds or rodents. These pests can cause damage to your home and pose potential health risks.

“If gutters are left clogged and overloaded, they can sag or pull away from the house, reducing their effectiveness and lifespan. Replacing damaged gutters could cost you upward of £900.”

2. Roof inspection
Rhiannon Moore, spokesperson at Toolstation, discussed other key areas around the home which should be monitored following heavy winds, including your roof, garden and windows.

She said: “You should have your roof professionally inspected at least once a year. Sixty per cent of roofers we spoke to recommend that you should pay close attention to any loose shingles or fallen tiles, particularly during periods of high winds and after storms.

“Roofers on our panel advised against going up yourself to physically inspect the roof, suggesting that it would be better to wait until weather conditions are more favourable and if in doubt, asking a professional.”

3. Window and door inspection

Moore continued: “Windows and doors are vulnerable points during storms, and their frames can suffer damage.

“You should inspect the frames for any signs of water leaks. Leaks can lead to water damage, mould growth, and compromised structural integrity. Look for water stains, discoloration, or visible damage around the frames.

“If winds are strong enough, objects could be thrown around and cause dents in the frame or damage the window glass. You should be checking all windows for cracks or any chips in the glass. Damaged glass is not only unsightly, but it can also compromise the security and energy efficiency of your home.”

4. Fence and gate inspection

“Fences are often exposed to the full force of storms, and a damaged fence compromises security and privacy”, added Moore.

“You should look for any visible damage to the fence, such as broken panels, missing pickets, or bent rails.

“If you have gates in your home, you should check if they can still open and close smoothly. Storms can put additional stress on gates, so regular inspection is crucial. If the gate does not open as smoothly post-storm you may consider using a lubricant on the hinges to ensure gate mechanisms work correctly.”

5. Garden inspection

Moore said: “Storms can wreak havoc on your garden. You should inspect your garden thoroughly to identify any issues. Unsecured furniture or items may have become projectiles during the high winds, potentially causing damage to both plants and your property.

“You should also assess the conditions of trees and plants. If you were not able to prune or remove any broken branches ahead of the storm it is possible, they will have fallen. You should also inspect plants and flower beds as the harsh winds may have been uprooted, they will need to be replanted to ensure proper recovery.”