DIY Guide: Easy fixes for your home from storm damage
If there’s one thing that we can’t control - or always predict - it’s the weather. Construction materials and building processes have improved over the years to the point where we don’t have to worry about damage to our homes as often. Some things are beyond our control, however, and storm damage can be a real problem.
When something does happen, there are times it can be caught early and fixed easily enough that, in a lot of cases, we don’t need a professional - or at least, not one right away. This gives us peace of mind and assures us we’ll be safe and have a roof over our heads in most cases.
What damage can extreme weather cause?
Storm damage covers a range of extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes, floods and more. It’s important to know what damage the weather can cause, and what you can do about it.
Hurricane damage to your home
Hurricane damage is a problem because there isn’t just one area of your property that will be affected by it. While you should first check for roof damage caused by hurricanes, there are other issues and areas of your home to inspect, too. Some of the most common things to check for hurricane damage include:
- Roof damage - this can be in the form of broken or loose shingles or tiles, and in extreme cases, even the joists beneath them.
- Guttering problems - not only are you looking for damage to the gutters, but any blockages from leaves and debris. If left unchecked, this can cause even more damage later.
- Damaged windows - with all the debris kicked up and carried by such strong winds, you might find cracks in your windows - or even broken glass. Also check the seals for any breakages and tears that let moisture inside.
- Garden damage - While not the most important area to check, structures such as sheds and garages do need to be checked. Of more importance is what can happen because of your garden; dislodged fencing, garden furniture and even small trees can suffer from hurricane damage - and even cause problems to nearby properties.
Flood damage to your home
Flood damage is something no one wants to think about. Heavy wind and rain can arrive suddenly and last for quite a while. The longer it lasts, the more damage it can cause - and to a number of areas of your home. Flood damage you should look for - when it is safe to do so - includes:
- Drainage - One of the biggest problems floods can cause are with drains around the property. Even small blockages somewhere in the system can make water build up and collect in places it shouldn’t, causing damage to your home and others.
- Wall cracks - Sitting water can destabilise some materials and cause cracks as they expand or contract over time. Not only is causing cracks a problem, but the water that can seep through them could result in damage deeper in your property.
- Window and door problems - The seals around doors and windows are there to protect against moisture and air entering the property. Extreme weather and flooding can damage these materials, letting water inside and damaging areas of your home. Check for condensation and damp around these areas regularly.
Repairs you can make after storm damage
Before making any repairs after storm damage, you should check with your insurance plans to see if you’re covered for these situations. Any repairs you carry out might interfere with any claims you make, but in some instances you’ll need to carry out interim repairs. Check first and save yourself hassle later.
Make sure you take photographs of any damage and keep records of anything you buy or professionals you hire in case you need them for evidence later.
Home repairs for hurricane damage
Once safe to do so, you can assess your home and check for hurricane damage. While a full check of the property is advised, there are three main areas we suggest checking first:
- The roof - The most common repair you’ll need to make with the roof from hurricane damage is with the tiles or shingles. You might find some missing or broken. To sort this, remove the damaged pieces and replace with new ones There are a range of roof shingles to choose from, and you want to find those that match the rest of your roof. Remember that each tile needs to be secured, and most overlap to help water flow downwards.
- The gutters - Guttering collects runoff water and directs it to drains or away from the property. If a piece is broken or damaged, it will need to be replaced by a similar piece. This is as easy as removing the damaged part and replacing it. For blocked gutters, you’ll need to identify the blockage and clear it, either with an unblocker or by removing the part and pushing or pulling the debris clear before returning it to its place.
- The windows - Other than cracks and broken glass, which will require a full replacement, it’s the seals you need to look at here. If there’s damage, you’ll need to remove the seal, most commonly rubber, and replace it after applying adhesive to the area.
Fixes to your home from flood damage
Flood damage can be the cause of a range of issues across your property. We advise a full check - once safe to do so - to identify areas that might have suffered water damage. Some of immediate things to check and repair are:
- Drains - One of the messiest repairs you might have to make are with the drains. Floods can bring a lot of debris of all sizes. The large items can be cleared away by hand but smaller pieces will get deeper into the drain and might need to be dealt with by a professional. Once any surface level gunk and debris has been cleared, take a garden hose and insert it as close to the blockage as possible. Activate at full power to see if this dislodges the blockage.
- Wall cracks - Depending on the size of the crack, and where it appears, you might need help with a fix - especially on a load-bearing wall. For small cracks, after you’ve investigated to see how deep it is and whether there’s water damage inside, a mortar solution is usually the best option to repair the damage. For the tiniest of cracks, sealant might work, but seek advice on this first.
- Windows and doors - Glass panes that have been cracked or broken completely Need to be replaced first. You might think a crack can be dealt with later but it could break with the slightest contact or force applied, which is a safety risk. Seals around the doors and windows could be damaged with the excess water, and can be replaced after removing the damaged parts.
Find out more about what to do with storm damage
Before making a decision on what to do after flood or hurricane damage, it’s best to know as much as you can about the situation and what your options are. This means you’ll make the right decision, and won’t waste time or money going down the wrong path. Read more about what to check for storm damage, and some of the steps you can take.
If you’ve discovered storm damage to your home after a flood, hurricane or other extreme weather event and are looking for some advice over what you need to carry out repairs, get in touch with our team and we’ll do what we can to help.