As the British Summer is coming to an end, we are all getting ready with our winter coats, hats and scarves ready for the cold weather to take hold. One thing that we all need to be aware of during periods of bad weather is property maintenance.
It takes wind speeds of 45mph to cause physical damage to the exterior of a well maintained building, so just imaging what could happen to your house if it is in a bad state of repair and you are suddenly hit by a storm. While we all do what we can to safeguard our homes from the elements, sometimes mother nature can take us all by surprise. In these events, here are some tips to help get your house back to the homely state it was.
The most common form of property damage occurring during a storm is to roofing. A good quality slate roof has the life expectancy of approximately 100 years, it is important that if you purchased your house second hand you have a record of the last time the roof was tiled so you can make sure this is adequately maintained. Flat roofs on the other hand, are a lot more temperamental and only last roughly 15 years, you will start to notice that the felt begins to stretch and pool when it needs replacing.
It can be argued that the roof is the most important part of the houses structure as if that sustains any damage, it allows precipitation, dirt as well as potential vermin to enter the property causing further damage. If water enters your home, this can cause some very serious problems for the structure as well as the interior. Water can seep into the walls, flooring and ceiling of the property, weakening them and therefore rendering them dangerous. Typically if you were suffering severe water damage from a flood for example, a company would bring in some dehumidifiers to dry the property, doing various tests on the moisture levels until the property was stable enough to have work taken out on it. It is of paramount importance to sanitize as well as dry because the standing water can potentially contain sewage or other harmful chemicals. If you have suffered standing water in the property you will need to clean the flooring and the walls of bacteria and silt. There are many disaster restoration companies dealing with everything from fire, trauma scenes and flood damage, by using Google, you can compare various companies to see which is best for you.
A disaster restoration company would typically bring industrial cleaning equipment to the property to perform a very thorough deep clean to all parts of the property. Any damaged personal items would have an attempt at a clean made on them if they thought it may be successful. Items such as industrial floor scrubbers or petrol pressure washers would be used to clean down the flooring and any kitchen appliances or any garden or outdoor items. You may be familiar with pressure washers after seeing your neighbour proudly washing his car, and every other item of outside or garden furniture he could find, every weekend after they first became commercially popular, when he picked up the latest Karcher HDS 10/20-4m. It is possible to hire sweepers and scrubber driers and do the work yourself however, I would always recommend a professional in these instances as you don’t want to cause any further damage through lack of knowledge and experience.
Once you have cleaned and sanitized the property it is time to start re decorating. Again, you can hire a professional decorator or you may want to carry out the work yourself if you’re particularly handy and creative. If you have home insurance, depending on what caused the damage the damage to the roof, walls and flooring (not floor coverings) would be covered and the insurance company under the buildings section, and they would more than likely send out one of their third party companies out to do the work on their behalf. With the interior, things such as decoration, carpets and personal items, these should be covered under your contents insurance if you have this, and again depending on the level of cover. When it comes to decorating your property, you are usually given the option of getting your own tradesman to do the work, given cash to complete the job yourself or the insurer allocates the work to a third party tradesman who is part of their network. How you want to proceed with this would depend entirely on the extent of the damage, your ability to fix the damage and if you had the personal time to do the job yourself.
Once you have indemnified the property to it’s previous state, it is vital that you now maintain it to this standard to prevent any further incidents occurring in the future. Here are a few tips you can follow to make sure that you’re house is safe from weather damage:
– Check the date your roof was last serviced. Slate roofs need re-tiling every 100 years at least, flat felt roofs every 15.
– Ensure the rendering on your walls is in good condition, if the rendering is starting to wear then get a specialist in to have a look at this and correct it.
– Whilst windows are very versatile and can last up to 100 years there are still signs to watch out for that may suggest it is time to replace your windows.; if you windows leak water or let in too much air, or if you are seeing furniture or items fade away from the UV rays, energy efficient glass will reflect more UV rays rather than allowing them to pass through. These will also protect the structure of the property.