There are few things that can cause damage to our homes like strong winds. Freezing weather and torrential downpours all take their toll, but it’s when a gale strikes up that we really need to be worried.
This week has seen the country battered by strong winds, as Storm Brendan tore a roof off a building in Slough, downed hundreds of trees and caused travel chaos.
If your home has suffered this week, you might need a great tradesperson to deal with the damage. If you escaped, but are worried about the next winter storm, then you might want to think about how you can prepare your home. We’ve laid out a few common victims of strong winds, so you can start battening down the hatches.
Loose tiles are probably the first things to go when the gusts and gales arrive, and can be a particular problem for older roofs which haven’t been checked or inspected for several years. Even a single missing tile - or just one that has shifted out of place - can leave a gap big enough for water to enter your roof space, which can cause considerable damage if not fixed quickly. Roofers can be busy at this time of year as they deal with the fallout of blustery storms, but luckily fixing a few tiles should be a quick and straightforward job.
We don’t often think about the gutters and drainpipes on our homes, and unless they’re blown clean off we might not think to check them for signs of damage. However, even a small issue with a wind-damaged pipe can cause big problems - if water is being diverted against the wall, it can damage the plaster or paintwork, and even penetrate the brickwork and masonry, leading to damp on the interior walls. An expert in fascias, soffits and guttering can replace any damaged lengths of pipe and gutter or secure the fixtures on older pipework to ensure it’s up to scratch.
We’ve all seen the videos of howling winds sending trampolines, wheelie bins and garden furniture rolling down the street, and fences are usually the things that feel the full impact of flying debris - if they avoid becoming flying debris themselves. Even members of the MyBuilder team have been sharing pics of downed fence panels in their garden this week - no one is safe! Luckily, there’s an army of talented fencers out there who can repair or replace panels, secure posts, or install entirely new fences to keep your garden safe and secure.
Any big storm usually claims a significant crop of trees, particularly those that are ill or otherwise vulnerable. Even if not taking down whole trees, branches can also be brought down in strong winds, causing damage to roofs, fences, outbuildings and cars. Storm Brendan has certainly caused plenty of tree damage, so to make sure the next storm doesn’t land you with a load of dead wood causing problems, speak to a tree surgeon. They can identify any trees you have which might be at risk and which might need cutting back or removing.
Loose chimney pots can be a menace in high winds, and until a storm strikes up, you might not even notice that they are loose or at risk of coming down. Like with all brickwork, it is worth inspecting the mortar regularly to make sure it is still strong and hasn’t become powdery, cracked or fallen away. Going up onto a roof yourself, especially if you’re not sure what to look for, can be risky, so a bricklayer or chimney and fireplace specialist are best-placed to inspect your chimney for warning signs of damage and make any fixes before the next storm hits.
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