One of the most vulnerable parts of your home is the roof, which can sustain damage from wind, snow, ice, heavy rains, and fallen trees. Failing to make needed repairs and carry out maintenance is one reason a roof can fall prey to the elements and then not be covered by your insurance.
“Many types of severe weather can put added stress on roofs, from high-speed winds ripping off tiles and slates, heavy debris and ice getting caught in gutters, to the weight of excess snow as we gear up for winter there’s no better time to inspect roofs for damage, make any necessary repairs and clean the gutters to help prevent some of the most common causes of damage that occur.
Here are some things you can do as prevention.
Concept Solutions recommends taking the following steps to ensure your roof is in good condition and to prevent potential damage:
- Trim trees and remove dead branches so they won’t damage your home if they fall because of wind, ice, or snow.
- It's worth remembering that you owe a 'duty of care' to service user or anyone visiting your property, which means that it's up to you to ensure that pathways are kept clear especially in snow and icy conditions.
- In the case of winter emergencies such as a severe snow storm, it makes good sense to have prepared an emergency kit including torches, spare bulbs, home insurance documents, other emergency contact details, tinned food, warm clothing, blankets and a shovel.
- Listen to the radio or check on line for regular updates on weather conditions. The Environment Agency's website is a reliable source of information on flood risk in the UK.
- Clear gutters and downspouts of debris. As the leaves fall, make sure they aren’t building up in the gutters.
- Check for any roof damage. Pay attention to surface bubbles and areas with missing gravel on flat roofs, or missing or damaged slates or tiles on sloped roofs.
- Add extra insulation in the attic to guard against ice dams. When too much heat escapes, it can melt the ice and snow on the roof. When it refreezes, it can cause an ice dam, causing water to back up into your home.
- Check the flashing on the roof to make sure it’s in good condition to help prevent water penetration.
- It's a good idea to leave outdoor taps dripping to prevent them from freezing solid. Make sure you know where your stopcock is located just in case you need to shut-off your water supply in an emergency.
- Electric cables and phone lines act as lightening conductors, so if there's a thunderstorm developing make sure that all electrical devices are unplugged (including your phone and routers)