storm damage

How to prevent storm damage to your property

Even in the UK, where we consider our weather reasonably tame, we are seeing increasingly frequent, more severe storms.  Rain, wind and temperature fluctuations can all damage property, and it is important to protect our homes to avoid problems and unexpected bills.

What is storm damage?

In this context, storm damage is a broad term to describe damage to property caused by:

  • Strong winds
  • Rain
  • Floods

The kind of damage includes:

  • Lost roof tiles and damage to roof structures
  • Broken guttering
  • Broken windows and doors
  • Damaged fences, boundary walls, gates and outbuildings
  • Flood damage
  • Tree damage to property

Climate change and storm damage

The warmth of the air and movement of weather patterns changes the type of weather we experience. For every 1°C the air temperature increases, it can hold approximately 7% more water, leading to more intense downpours.  The effects of climate change are likely to lead to more frequent, stronger winter storms in the UK.[i]  We are also likely to see wetter winters and drier summers, with the rainfall in summer more extreme, leading to potential surface water flooding.[ii]

While we should all be taking steps towards storm damage prevention now, it seems likely we will need to become even more proactive in the future.

How to prevent storm damage

Storm damage prevention need not be arduous, and it is much better to stop the damage than face the (often costly) consequences. Here is our checklist for how to prevent storm damage:

  1. Regularly visually inspect the outside of your house, checking for damaged/missing tiles; blocked/damaged gutters and downpipes; damage to facias, walls, cladding, window frames, etc.; and blocked gullies/surface water drains.
  2. Make any repairs necessary in good time. Taking action before a storm can prevent the problem from becoming much worse.
  3. Practise good property maintenance. Little and often is a good rule when it comes to maintenance. Particularly pay attention to boundary walls, gates and fences, as loose panels are likely to suffer damage and possible collapse in strong winds.
  4. Keep plants and trees in good order e.g. remove dead trees and overhanging branches that could blow around in strong winds. Planting wind-resistant trees and shrubs at a safe distance from buildings can offer some protection.
  5. If you know a storm is on the way, take some time to secure/bring inside outdoor furniture and loose items such as BBQs, bins, toys, garden equipment and plant pots. These could blow around and break, and even become dangerous projectiles causing damage/injury.

How to prevent flood damage

Some areas are more prone to flood damage than others and the potential for flash flooding is increasing. If you know you are in a high-risk zone, it is a good idea to download a weather alert app which should give you warning of potential storms.  You could also install flood barriers, keep sandbags handy, and keep important documents and precious items etc on upper floors.

Another good step to take is to prepare emergency supplies and keep them in a waterproof container. Ideas to include are torches, spare batteries, tinned food, tin opener, water, blankets, spare clothing, a first aid kit and any essential medication.

Prevention is better than cure

While we do not need to panic about storms generally, it is a very good idea to take small steps to prepare our properties to withstand them. Regular inspections and the odd repair can really pay off.

Get in touch

At Trinity Rose, our Chartered Surveyors offer a range of property surveys. If you would like to better understand the physical state of your home to prevent or following storm damage, we will be happy to help. Please get in touch to discuss your options.

[i] https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/understanding-climate/uk-and-global-extreme-events-wind-storms [Accessed 21/6/24]

[ii] https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/understanding-climate/uk-and-global-extreme-events-heavy-rainfall-and-floods [Accessed 21/6/24]