Preparing for extreme weather


Our homes are used as protection against the outside elements, so when preparing for extreme weather you should make all the right checks to ensure you’re well protected. So what can you do to stay safe from extreme weather? Aviva has provided information and advice on protecting your property from floods, snow and storms.

Things to check include:

Roof

Heavy snow can have devastating effects on low and fragile garage roofs, porches and conservatories. This snow can also fall into your guttering, which can make it unstable and potentially break.

Chimney

Chimneys should be checked to ensure that there isn’t a risk of them falling loose and collapsing on anything, should a storm or gale arrive. Be sure to check there aren’t any loose roof tiles and that satellites and aerials are also secure.

Walls

Although it’s important to make sure every other point of entry is covered, floodwater is still likely to find its way into your home via ventilation bricks; it’s very easy to replace these normal bricks with plastic air bricks, which act as a sealant if flood water tries to enter your home.

Garage

It’s especially important not to forget about the garage (if you have one) since it is where many of us store most of our electrical equipment.

Remember to keep your car in your garage to prevent its engine or locks suffering damage from frost or cold. Everyone in your home should also be aware of where they can turn off the gas and electricity, so ensure they know where the mains are located just in case.

Doors

Do you live in an area with a high risk of flooding? If so you should invest in door guards on all ground floor doors; this is to prevent flood water from seeping into your home and destroying your furniture and belongings. These are made to size and can be fitted easily on any door. According to Aviva’s Claims data, the typical home insurance pay out for a building and contents policy over the last ten years in a flood risk area is £33,000.

Car

If you own one, a car is probably one of your most valuable possessions, so you should ensure it’s as protected as can be, whether you’re driving it or not.

  • Lubricate your locks and door seals to prevent them freezing.
  • Park your car/vehicle in the garage (if you have one) during a storm or gale.
  • Ensure there’s an emergency kit in your car that has all the essentials, including a warning triangle, torch with batteries, de-icer, phone charger, blanket and some nonperishable food items.

It’s also worth ensuring your driveway and nearby roads are safe to drive on. Dave Lovely, Aviva’s Claims Director says “Snow and ice can also cause mayhem on the roads. It’s worth stocking up now with a bag of grit.”

Garden

We often overlook our gardens when it comes to dealing with extreme weather, often focusing on the property itself. But there are still some measurements to take in your garden to lessen the risk of property damage.

  • If you have a shed, ensure it’s watertight. If not then make the necessary repairs.
  • Ensure all garden furniture is either put away in a garage or secured with tarpaulin to avoid it causing damage elsewhere or losing it completely.
  • Make sure all fencing is secured, so it doesn’t come loose or cause additional damage to your home or a neighbouring property.

Don’t forget that the effects of extreme weather can often take time to show; ensure you check your property on a regular basis, despite what the weather forecast is. Staying on top of your property means you spot issues earlier and have enough time to deal with them before they become real problems. You can also make use of Aviva’s checklist for potential issues, helping you get a clearer idea of what needs to be fixed.