Winter Storm Damage: 5 Essentials to Check outside Your Home after a Storm

Jayde Ferguson

With the end of the winter season fast approaching, now is the best time to start familiarising yourself with the storm damage essentials. Pre-storm season you no doubt set your property up for the best chance of survival, but it’s just as important to check your home after the season is over for damage.

You don’t have to be living in a tornado-prone city to undergo storm damage. Severe winds, hail storms, dense rain, extreme temperatures, heavy snowfall and flash floods can all harm your property (and bank account) very quickly if left unnoticed and untreated. After any storm – regardless of how big or small it is – you should get into the habit of checking your property for common damages and fixing them ahead of time. Here’s a few essential affected areas you’ll need to take a look at after this storm season is over.

1. Check Your Roof Tiles and Clean Your Gutters

Bad storms and harsh weather conditions can lead to roof and gutter damage. And the longer you leave roof in that state the worse it’ll get. Thoroughly inspect your roof for broken or missing roof tiles and shingles as these are the most commonly affected. Any structural damage to your roof should be fixed immediately by a professional. Check for areas where the flashing has been lifted by the wind too. You’ll want to inspect if there’s any leaks coming from your roof to avoid mould and rot build up or weakening of the structure.

Roof gutters will take a good beating too during a storm. Homeowners should check for any blockage of debris in the gutters or in the event of a snowstorm, check for ice near the edge of the roof. Ice, leaves and broken trees can all prevent proper drainage in the gutters and leave your roof with more damage.

2. Fencing and Gate Storm Damage

Winter storms and heavy winds and rainfall can cause structural damage to your fence and gate which can lead to rotting, warping and unsafe fences. Whilst the fence may not be completely down, it’s imperative you inspect the structure to ensure it’s safe and well maintained.

Check for obvious cracks and breaks on the slats that may need to be replaced. If any nails are fixed to the wooden posts, ensure none have broken or rusted from the weather. Cracked, broken and splintered posts should be replaced by a professional fencing contractor. The hinges of your gates should also be inspected to ensure there’s no rusting or misalignments as this will affect its functionality. To avoid further rusting or fence damage, consider upgrading your fence to stainless steel or aluminium as this will prevent rotting, promote better durability and require less maintenance.

Ensure the security of the fence planks have not been jeopardised.  The degree to which they remain secure with each other will determine how easily they could still fall apart. Push the planks to see how aligned they are with the fence and feel its stability. The soil where the fence bottoms are planted into should be inspected for water that’s pooled as this will soften the ground and cause further instability. Move the fence planks in the soil and make sure they feel secure too.

3. Damaged Pipes

Clogged and damaged pipes tend to mean no hot showers, no cooked dinners and potential flooding inside your home – not fun for anyone. During winter storms it’s possible for downpipes to freeze, burst and become so dislodged from the house they will fail to direct water down from the drains.L

Leaving pipes with this damage doesn’t just stop the luxuries of hot showers and running water, but will lead to water damage too. Untreated water damage can cause your home’s structure to be unstable and promote rot, and bacterial fungal to grow.

4. Make Sure Your Ground Isn’t Waterlogged

Heavy rainfall or snow storms can cause your yard to become waterlogged several days after the storm has hit. Inspect the ground around your property and other structures for extreme wet areas that can lead to instability. Leaky water pipes can contribute to the problem too, so it’s important you check all pipes thoroughly after a storm hits to make sure everything is in working order.

Widespread wetness after storms can also be a result of grading problems on your property, which prevents water from quickly flowing away into a drain. The best ways to control surface water is to keep gutters clear so they don’t overflow or become blocked or install more downspouts around the house and ensure they extend at least 10 feet from around the property. Keep depressions in the ground next the home foundation walls filled in with dirt to encourage the water to drain away from the house. If waterlogged grounds are left untreated, water damage within the house can be a possibility.  

5. Inspect Trees

The condition of nearby trees tends to get forgotten about when it comes to storm damage. Whilst you’re the structure of your home should be top priority, it’s not to dismiss the importance of large trees around your property too. Trees that have been uprooted by the storm can tip over and causing a huge amount of damage – have these removed or replanted in a safer position. Any branches from trees that are cracked or broken should be removed too.

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Fencemakers – Perth, Western Australia’s complete range of quality fencing and gates installed by skilled fencing contractors. Catch Jayde on Google+.