Prepare Your Property for Extreme Weather
If there’s one thing in life we can’t control, it’s the weather. But while that’s true, there are lots of things we can all do to prepare ourselves and our properties for severe weather, so that when the inevitable happens, we limit the stress it causes us and the damage it does to our homes and businesses.
We’re usually pretty well informed of upcoming issues and warned in advance, so that we can take the necessary action to stay safe and, as far as possible, protect what we hold dear.
Flooding, heavy snowfall, torrential rain, gale force winds. All of these extreme weather situations are at some point unavoidable. More often than not though, homeowners realise after the event, when the damage has already been done, that they could have taken measures to lessen the impact.
So with this in mind the Easy Innovations team has compiled a list of the most important steps you can take to prepare yourself and your property for severe weather.
Heavy rain can cause a multitude of problems, the most severe and upsetting of course being flooding. If the rain comes in a short, torrential burst, flash flooding can happen. If the rainfall is heavy over a longer period of time, rivers can burst their banks and coastal areas may flood. Here’s what you can do to prepare.
1. Find out if you’re in a flood risk area
The first thing to do to prepare for potential heavy rainfall is to find out from the Environment Agency website if you’re in an area at risk from flooding. It’s estimated that around 5 million people in the UK live in a flood risk area.
2. Register for Flood Warnings
If your home or commercial property is at risk of flooding, you’re eligible to register online for Floodline flood warnings, which is a free service. When you do so, you receive warnings either by email, text or phone. This will help you prepare in the event that your property may be at risk.
3. Keep Property Maintained and Flood Resilient
This is an ongoing preventative measure that will help protect your property against water damage. All gutters and gullies must be kept clear of leaves and other debris so that water can drain away properly. Neglecting to keep gutters clear can result in costly water damage in the case of heavy rainfall. Rain storms can cause considerable damage very quickly and there is no time to act. Being prepared in this way means that any water that does fall will drain away adequately.
4. Install Flood Protection
If you know that you’re in a high risk area, it’s advisable to have flood protection so that when the heavy rain comes, you can quickly and easily install it and help limit damage. There are innovative new products on the market now, like Quick Dam sandless bags and flood barriers, which are lighter than the old traditional sand bags and the powder inside them swells when it comes into contact with water, creating a barrier and keeping it out.
These steps will help your peace of mind, so that the next time there’s heavy rain storms on the way, you’re as prepared as you can be.
Ice, Snow and Freezing Temperatures
When we think of the kind of weather most likely to affect a property, flooding immediately comes to mind. But often overlooked is extreme cold and snow. Every year home insurers have to deal with thousands of claims brought about by the extreme cold. Burst pipes are a very common and costly occurrence in the winter, but there are steps you can take to keep the insurance companies away.
1. Keep Your Home Temperature Above 15 degrees
It’s important to keep the temperature in the house steady and not to let it drop too low. If you know you’re going to be away during a cold spell, it’s worth keeping the heating from dropping while you’re away. Set the thermostat so that it doesn’t go below 15.
2. Open cupboard doors
This is a handy little tip, so easy to do and often overlooked. Opening your kitchen cupboard doors is a good way of letting warmer air reach the pipes inside cupboards under the sink in the kitchen and bathroom.
3. Check Your Loft
Have a look inside the loft at your loft insulation. Check it’s not damaged and that it’s thick enough. It’s recommended that loft insulation should be a minimum of 270 mm thick. Pipes and tanks should be lagged. If you go away, it’s a good idea to open the loft hatch to allow warm air to reach the loft space.
4. Turn Off Outside Taps
To stop outside pipes freezing or bursting, it’s a good idea to turn off the supply of water. It is frozen water expanding that causes pipes to burst, so by cutting off the supply, you’re helping protect your property. To close off the water, turn it off from inside, then turn the outside tap on so as to drain the pipes of water.