Storms seem to be getting more regular in Ireland these days. It seems like there’s hardly a month that goes by that we don’t have some sort of a storm or a storm warning. The West of the country usually gets it the worst as most of the weather comes in from the Atlantic but when it does come from the East, it really let’s us have it, as we experienced during Storm Ophelia in 2017. If you can prepare in advance for a storm it will hopefully minimise any damage to your property and help you to cope better if anything goes wrong. Here are some tips to protect your home in the event of a storm and to help you deal with the problems that it may cause:-
- Maintain trees close to your home and make sure to remove any weak branches that could fall on your home during periods of high wind. If a tree comes crashing down on your home the structural damage can be severe and very costly to repair.
- Make sure that your roof is water tight. High wind and rain can tear loose felt, drive water into places where it wouldn’t normally go, creating damp, condensation, and possible rot damage that can set in to timber roof supports. If not addressed swiftly this can lead to incredibly costly repairs in the future.
- High winds can grab loose tiles and rip them from your roof in a matter of seconds making it very dangerous for anyone who may be walking underneath, cars etc in close proximity to your house may also be damaged. Make sure that all tiles, particularly those on the ridges and edges, are firmly secured and replace any tiles that are missing.
- Make sure that wallplates on the house and on sheds are secured property to the wall beneath and not just sitting on the top of the wall.
- Check the condition of your ground level drains. If these are clogged with leaves or debris your water flow can become blocked and can lead to problems including dampness or even flooding.
- If your area is prone to flooding, have sandbags pre-filled and at the ready.
- Ensure that your TV aerial is properly secured so that it does not become a danger in times of high winds.
- Garden furniture, bins, etc should be stored securely away from windows and French doors where it could cause damage in a storm.
- Make sure your boiler and gas fire have been serviced by a qualified professional and have your central heating system checked.
Sometimes weather damage can be inevitable regardless of how well prepared we are and often in Ireland we can find ourselves going without electricity for a day or two after a storm. Always make sure to have a flash lamp somewhere that is easily accessible and some fresh batteries on hand. Candles can also be very useful when we find ourselves in the dark so make sure that you keep these close to hand too and don’t forget the matches.
It’s good to have an emergency kit which would include the items above plus a list of emergency phone numbers, first aid kit nonperishable emergency food, bottled water and boots. You might consider a gas fired cooker that doesn’t rely on electricity. For small electrical items, a generator might keep things ticking over until the power comes back but check with your electrician first to see what it is safe to drive.
It’s good to have an emergency kit which would include the items above plus a list of emergency phone numbers, first aid kit, nonperishable emergency food, bottled water and boots.
You might consider some sort gas fired cooker that doesn’t rely on electricity. For small electrical items, a generator might keep things ticking over until the power comes back but check with your electrician first to see what it is safe to drive.
Also, make sure that you have up to date home and buildings cover in place and that you are covered from weather related damage just to be on the safe side.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any other comments or suggestions please feel free to enter them in the comments box below.
General Tips for hiring a tradesman
Here are some tips to consider when hiring a tradesman:-
1. Ask for phone numbers of references so that you can check them out
2. Check insurance of the tradesman where insurance is required
3. Hire a suitably qualified architect, building surveyor or building engineer if the job is anything to do with a new build, building renovation or extension
4. Agree on some sort of stage payments for the job. Remember that full payment should not be made until the job is complete and has been inspected by you, and if necessary by a certifier.
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