Skip to content
Storms can and do cause expensive damage to your property both in and outside. With the effects of GlobalWarming these storms could become more violent, more common and affect more people throughout the country.
Being able to cope with such disasters; knowing who to go to for
help, knowing what to do to reduce the damaging effects of the disaster, putting your life and property back together again, is vital. The purpose of this leaflet and the accompanying leaflet on Flooding is to provide you with helpful advice.
Storm damage can affect the structure of a property, the fixtures and fittings, your personal possessions and the garden and fencing. This leaflet will primarily deal with damage caused by high winds. You should refer to the Good Idea Leaflet 914 - Flooding in the event of damage caused by water.
In the event of damage caused by high winds your first step should always be to contact your home and contents insurance company, advise them of the occurrence and obtain their instructions on how to proceed. Very often they will provide you with their own safety guidelines too, which will be similar to much of the advice in this leaflet. Serious as the disaster may be, you should always remember that your insurance company will have had plenty of experience in dealing with similar problems and will help you in every way possible.
Your local authority will also be able to provide you with advice and practical help so contact them and find out what they are planning.
The type of damage you may have experienced can vary from the loss of a few roof tiles to the complete loss of a roof and, in more extreme circumstances, damage to walls and chimneys. In the event of damage to roofs you should take great care when inspecting them, wait for the wind to subside as further tiles or slates could still come off. If damage appears to have affected the structure of the property it will need to be inspected by a qualified Building Surveyor.Your insurers will insist upon this.
If you can, take steps to prevent the damage becoming worse by using heavy-duty plastic sheeting or a tarpaulin to cover up the damage.Many insurance policies cover the cost of emergency work, but check first. If this requires the use of ladders take great care and ensure you have help.Watch out for sodden ground as ladders can easily sink into this and become unstable. Using a length of plank under the ladder will help spread the load. Do not attempt to put up coverings whilst it is still windy.
Flat roofs could also have been affected. Check that the felt has not been torn, this can normally be done simply from an overlooking window. Again, use plastic sheeting or a tarpaulin as a temporary cover if felt is torn or missing.
There are other jobs that can be completed to reduce the risk of further damage. For example, check that drain covers are raked clear of leaves and other debris - failing to do this could cause flooding later if the rain returns.
If drains are blocked, use drain-clearing rods to remove the blockage. Also check that gutters and downpipes are clear and that airbricks around the property are not blocked.
You may also have suffered damage around the property. Trees may have fallen across fencing, sheds may have been destroyed and fence panels or gates may have been ripped away from their posts.
If trees have been blown down or the roots appear to have been dislodged you may need to seek specialist advice. Your insurance company may be able to assist with this or look in your local Yellow Pages under "TreeWork". If you are clearing trees yourself take great care and watch out for branches or smaller trees that have become trapped, these can spring backwards and cause serious injury.
Do not be tempted to use chainsaws without proper advice or without wearing suitable protective clothing.
Check posts and fences have not been dislodged by the wind. If panels have become loose put in additional fixings so that future strong winds will not dislodge them. If posts are wobbly or broken replace them - using a rapid setting concrete mix or Wickes Postcrete can make this easier and prevent further damage occurring.
Check that plants around the garden have not been damaged or ripped away from their supports. Put in new posts or secure the plants with garden wire or an old pair of tights taking care not to damage stems or branches. Cut away small branches that have been damaged and where necessary treat the cuts to prevent the plant becoming diseased.
If you have lost glass panes from your greenhouse take this opportunity to replace these with acrylic sheeting which is much safer. Take great care when collecting broken glass and dispose of it safely.You may have to take it to your local council recycling site. DO NOT just put it in your dustbin.
Your insurance company will have a register of tradespeople who will make repairs as quickly as they can or they will approve a local builder and decorator. Do not be tempted to employ unknown callers who offer to carry out repairs for you. Your insurance company may not accept their charges and their workmanship may not be to a high standard.
In an emergency, if something has to be purchased by you, to make safe, make sure that you keep the receipt for the goods. Where possible take pictures of damaged areas. You can use an inexpensive and easily obtainable disposable camera or even better still a camcorder so if necessary your insurance company will be able to view the extent of the damage.
When the time comes to make your claims for the replacement of damaged or destroyed items you'll need to know what they cost. Wickes can give you prices and even written quotations for everything from fence panels to gates. Do not hesitate to ask for help.
Weather forecasting is not an exact science, but often we do get advanced warning of potential storms. You can take simple steps to reduce some of the possible problems.
Roofs and chimneys should be checked for loose or dislodged slates/tiles. Check for cracks in the brickwork or damage to the flaunching (the mortar around chimney pots). If this is old and loose chimney pots can fall and cause serious damage to the property or injury to passers by.
Gutters and downpipes should be cleared of debris to ensure water flows away quickly. Consider fitting leaf guards to prevent future blockages. Drains and gratings should be cleared of leaves to prevent localised flooding.
Fences and gates should be in good order, if panels are loose put in additional fixings.
Make sure that airbricks are clear and the soil has not been allowed to build up and cover the house damp proof course.
Ensure that external doors and windows are secure.
An open door to a shed or greenhouse can allow the wind in and under certain conditions you will lose the roof. Make sure the doors are firmly closed and after the storm check that no cats or other animals - that were sheltering - are trapped inside.
Download this Good Idea leaflet now. [ 1.13 Mb ]