With storms repeatedly bombarding us already this new year, we wondered what the forthcoming weeks might hold.
Wet, windy and cold weather conditions have the potential to wreak havoc on homes and gardens again, damaging plants, fencing and roof tiles, as well as leaving us with dangerous and slippery surfaces.
Rest assured though, while you can’t control the weather, there are simple steps you can take to protect your property against storm damage.
Store away your essentials
To protect your garden essentials from wintry storms, store your tools in a shed or a weatherproof garden storage unit until the spring.
It might sound obvious, but an empty shed is easily blown around by the wind. If you haven’t got enough to fill it, try a few paving slabs or even a bag of sand to help weigh it down.
Make sure any electrical power tools are raised from the ground (for instance on a shelf or in a plastic storage box) to prevent damage should your shed flood or leak.
Get on the de-fence
It’s an argument that neighbours everywhere have been embroiled in for decades. Who is responsible for which fence and how do you handle fixing it? Storms are the prime time for this argument to ignite, so it’s best to get your ducks in a row if you know bad weather is persisting.
The first thing to do is check your deeds to see if there is an existing boundary outlined. If not, you can amicably make a new boundary agreement with your neighbours saving yourself any future issues.
Safeguard your greenhouse
If you own a greenhouse, it probably takes pride of place in your garden, so it needs to be protected!
To prepare, check your greenhouse for signs of weakness and broken glass panels which are most likely to fall victim to storm damage. If your glass is held in with clips, we recommend using silicone sealant to secure them.
It’s also important to make sure your greenhouse is anchored down to the floor as securely as possible with bolts, whether it’s on slabs, concrete or a metal frame.
Your greenhouse is usually included in your home insurance, but make sure to check this. No greenhouse manufacturer that we know of gives any kind of guarantee against storm damage.
Check your roof
Your home’s roof is exposed to all the elements, 365 days a year.
At the beginning of winter (and before spring comes around), it’s good practice to check your roof…but don’t go climbing up a ladder yourself!
Inspect it for any damage from the ground, as well as from inside the loft. If you spot mould, missing tiles or signs of leakage, you should call a specialist.
Keeping your guttering clear is also a must to ensure rainwater flows away from your property, but we would always advise paying a professional.
Don’t forget windows and doors
Bear in mind solid wood or hollow metal doors stand the strongest chance of braving high winds and keeping you safe.
You can also invest in draught-proof windows and doors with a sealant you can buy at most DIY stores. Make sure your entry doors are secured with a hinge and security lock.
Don’t forget to check your garage doors are securely shut and locked ahead of a storm. Make sure your car is tucked safely away in the garage too…no one wants a stray roof tile through their windscreen!
And if time gets the better of you…
If you’re caught by surprise, don’t fret, there are some last-minute steps you can take.
Place any potted plants or hanging baskets in a shed or garage to stop them flying around. Or failing that, group pots together and rest larger plants or trees on their side in a space shielded from the wind.
If a cold snap is forecast, disconnect your hose from the mains, empty any water features so ice can’t crack the pipes and sprinkle your driveway with grit.
If the worst happens and your home or garden is damaged, don’t try a rescue attempt during a storm, instead, stay safe and wait until the weather eases before making repairs.
Article By The Greenhouse People