How to protect your rental property from storm damage04-07-2023 | Damaged Property
Severe storms have become more common in recent years in the UK. In fact, February 2022 saw three separate storms hit the UK in the space of one week, storms Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin. Storm Eunice was the most damaging storm in England and Wales since February 12th 2014.
With this increase in severe storms comes the added likelihood that one of your rental properties could be affected, and the consequences of storm damage can be pricey to repair. So, it is thereby a good idea to take the necessary precautions to fit your rental properties with suitable storm protection.
At CIA Landlords, we are partnered with a long list of landlord insurance providers offering you comprehensive storm damage provisions for your rental property. Here we give you some advice on how to protect your rental property from storm damage.
What can storms do to your property?
First of all, let’s consider the sorts of property damage that storms tend to cause:
- Roof damage
- Falling trees and debris breaking windows, doors, or even collapsing roofs entirely
- Damaging garden paving
- Destroying fences
- Water damage from excess rainfall
- Unrooting garden trees and plants derooting
One of your key responsibilities as a landlord is to ensure that your tenants live in a property in a good state of repair, so you can’t have tenants in situ while there is considerable damage to your property’s roof. What’s more, these sorts of structural damages can take a long while to repair, during which you won’t receive any rent.
Ways to protect your property from storm damage
However, there are preparations and protective measures you can take to help protect your rental property from the effects of storm damage. Here are a few ideas.
Maintain your roof and guttering properly
Metal and fibreglass material roofs tend to fair the best in stormy weather with high winds. Maintaining your roof and carrying out regular inspections is vital, especially if your rental property is in a high-wind area. Remember that you have to ask your tenants’ permission and provide them with at least 24 hours’ warning before inspecting your roof or any other part of your rental property.
Guttering can also be affected by the strong wind, falling branches and such like that come with storms. So, you should also inspect and maintain the guttering areas of your rental property’s outdoor space. Galvanised steel gutters are more robust and durable compared to aluminium ones when faced with stormy conditions.
Secure your fence panels
Making sure you secure your fence panels adequately could help the fence at your rental property to stand still and not be flung all over the place and wrecked in a storm. Concrete posts are ideal for strong winds, and you should try setting them at least a few feet into the ground. If you want to use wood, be sure to get heavy-duty pine posts that you can screw panels safely into.
Store away garden furniture
You may have decided to decorate the outdoor space in your rental property with nice outdoor furniture for tenants to enjoy chilling out on in the warmer months. Just remember that sometimes the strongest storms arrive in the summer.
Seen a weather warning forecasting strong storms soon? Be proactive. Try to ask for permission from tenants to take the garden furniture away to be stored safely somewhere else in the meantime. If there isn’t enough time, ask tenants if they could move the furniture indoors themselves.
You don’t want expensive garden furniture items to be destroyed because you didn’t store them away for a storm in time. Unstable garden furniture swirling about in the wind could cause additional damage to your property, such as breaking a kitchen window.
Plant tall hedges, bushes, and shrubs together
Tall hedges, bushes, and shrubs planted together can function as efficient windbreakers that protect your property from strong winds. Just be careful not to plant them too close to your property.
Cut down any large tree branches directly overhanging your property.
Some tree branches can be pretty dense and weighty. Large tree branches directly overhanging your property can cause significant damage that takes a long time to repair. To prevent this, cut back any large tree branches overhanging your property.
If it is a tree from your neighbour’s garden, you are within your rights to cut back the branches if they are encroaching and have the potential to cause damage to your property in a storm.
Grade your back garden to reduce the flooding risks
Storms can sometimes be accompanied by mountains of rainfall all at once that is difficult to drain off. So, another risk of storms is your property flooding. However, you can prevent floodwater from entering your rental property by ensuring the back garden or outdoor space is graded in a way which redirects water away from the lowest points of entry, like foundations and doors.
You will most likely need to hire a professional landscaper to grade your rental property well and reduce the potential for flood damage.
Line your property with sandbags
It may sound like a last-ditch effort, but lining your rental property with sandbags could help to prevent thousands of pounds worth of damage to flooring and household possessions. Sandbags can be effective at keeping water out for a short period of time.
Basement areas of homes are also prone to flooding. Why not place sandbags at the entrance point and on the floor of your basement to prevent any damage from being done down there?
So, have some spare sandbags stored away somewhere safe and try to ask your tenants’ if you can use them to help minimise any damage from flooding.
Window maintenance and repair
Windows and window frames throughout your home can be vulnerable to succumbing to damage in stormy weather. The costs of covering such damages to your windows can add up. So, protect yourself by carrying out regular maintenance on your windows and checking the glass is in good order and that the sealants around the edges are still holding strong. After all, you don’t want to endanger your tenants from window glass smashing or damp emerging from rainwater seeping in via the windows.
Every couple of years, you may have to invest in replacing your windows, particularly if they have already been weathered by strong storms.
Why you need reliable landlord insurance cover
Regular home insurance won’t cover you if you have paying tenants living at your property and storm damage occurs. For that, you will need a specialist landlord insurance policy that covers storm damage and its costs, just like the ones you can find through us at CIA Landlords.
Looking to get a landlord insurance policy that ticks all the boxes when it comes to protecting your rental property from storm damage? Get in touch with CIA Landlords today by phoning our helpful team on 01788 818 870 or sending an email to email@example.com.
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