Find out everything you need to know about repairing your home if it's damaged by a storm
Winter weather in the UK is about as unpredictable as our summer. The only thing that's guaranteed is you're going to get wet if you forget your brolly or blown away if you remember it.
From gale-force winds and floods, to hailstones and sleet, you never really know what to expect from the great British winter.
To help you get your house looking its best again, here are the areas to check for any storm damage. Just be aware and take care when you're walking near walls, buildings or trees that may have been damaged by the storm.
Types of damage
It's something most of us probably don't look at everyday but very important if you want to keep your home warm and dry. High winds can cause roof tiles to loosen or rip off all together. Stand back and look at the roof to see if there are any visible problems like missing tiles or damaged flashing. Get into the attic and take a look from the inside to see if the roof appears to be sagging, if you can see light from outside or any patches of damp.
Check the glass in your greenhouse, conservatory or outhouse. Strong winds could have caused branches to bang against windows and cause cracks, while heavy rain may have leaked through, highlighting weak spots or small cracks.
Trees and garden
It's not just your house which will have been affected but your garden too. Take a look around for any obvious damage such as broken furniture or damage to the shed. Be sure to check any trees for loose branches or exposed roots. If a tree which has already been damaged causes any future damage it may affect an insurance claim.
Loose tiles or debris from the roof could slip into the guttering causing a blockage. You should regularly inspect your gutters to avoid a build up of dirt.
Your Admiral policy excludes cover for fences, gates or hedges but may be able to help with cover for boundary walls blown down by stormy weather for which you are liable. This is based on the assumption that the boundary wall was kept in a reasonable condition before the storm hit.
If your home has flooded, the damage could be devastating. From ruined carpets to destroyed furniture, the effects of a flood are impossible to disguise. Once the flood waters have subsided and it is safe to return home be sure to open your windows to allow your property to air out if it's safe to do so. Remember to check out our flood guide for a full list of what you'll need to do.
Contacting your insurer
If, after you've inspected your home, you find any damage you should contact your insurer at the earliest opportunity to discuss the damage and make sure your home insurance policy covers it.
If you need to claim, the following tips will help:
- Check your policy excess to work out if it would be worth making a claim.
- If you are an Admiral Home Insurance customer, call us on 0333 220 2035 to find out how we can help. You don't need to fill out a form as our claims handlers will take all the details of the claim.
- Don't throw away anything which has been damaged as it may need to be assessed, and take pictures if possible.
- Keep receipts for any emergency repairs you make like new panes of glass or roof repairs. We'll want to reach an agreement on repairs before they go ahead, but understand that emergency repairs are sometimes necessary, so keep your invoices and receipts.
- Prevent further damage if there's water coming into your property, and move your contents away from the water if it's possible and safe to do so.