Winter in the UK has thus far proven exceptionally mild. The country’s west coast has been battered by a succession of extreme weather events, the latest of which is Storm Henry. These storms have left a trail of destruction and costly repair bills in their wake.
And it’s not just acute weather threats that we should concern ourselves with – this mild winter looks set to get a little less mild during February, with heavy snowfall predicted, and so it’s worth considering exactly what damage this extra chill might inflict.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which the winter weather might threaten your property.
High wind can inflict massive damage upon a garden. It can pick up those loose items, like potted plants, and smash them into smithereens. Garden furniture, too, is at risk of being swept up into the air and deposited somewhere unfortunate. This is especially so for garden umbrellas, which in high winds can act like a miniature parachute. Even if the wind isn’t quite strong enough to life a piece of furniture, it might be sufficient to throw it sideways into your – or someone else’s – property.
The best way to avoid problems is to remove any small objects to somewhere indoors shortly before the high wind is expected. Of course, it’s sometimes impractical to move larger items, like furniture, to an indoor safe-spot. You might, therefore, consider instead anchoring such items into place. This will prevent them from flying around and causing pandemonium.
If you’ve got an outdoor shed, then this would be the perfect location in which to store those loose items during a storm. It’s important that the shed is of a good, durable quality. If it’s been there awhile, then regular inspection and maintenance will go a long way toward ensuring that it can do its job properly.
You’ll want to pay especially close attention to the condition of your shed’s roof felting – as it’s this layer that does the most work in protecting the interior of the shed against leaks and rainwater. Check that it’s secure and free from wear and splits. If it needs repair, then do it as soon as possible. Roofing felt is inexpensive and easily installed, and so there’s no reason to delay doing so.
If you don’t have a shed – or if your existing one is beyond help – then be sure to invest in a decent, substantial one. Fortunately, you’re never far from a timber merchant in North Wales and so there are plenty of places you might secure the necessary materials.
Another item which is at risk during a storm is any fencing you might have around your property. With a large surface area, a fence can easily be subjected to a great deal of force from the wind – particularly if the wind is blowing perpendicular to the fence.
If a fence isn’t in the best condition, then this can make the risk all the greater – since that rotten, weak wood might not be able to withstand the gale. It’s therefore essential that would be kept in the best possible condition, through regular treatment with wood stain and preservative (which can be bought from an assortment of north wales timber supplies purveyors).
Naturally, the section of the fence most likely to rot is the part that’s underground, securing the fence in position. This is the part that should be re-enforced, as a sufficiently high wind might sheer it from the ground. If you’re living in an area that’s particularly vulnerable to high wind, then you might consider a specially made fence, with holes in it designed to allow some of the wind to pass through unhindered – this will vastly reduce the strain on the fence, and reduce the likelihood that it will get blown over.
Freezing temperatures can inflict considerable damage upon plumbing – particularly if pipes are not insulated, or are in the presence of cold draughts. Once water freezes in a pipe, it poses a substantial threat, as it expands as it’s thawing, and might cause the pipe to burst – thereby showering nearby items with water, and requiring an emergency plumber to be called out.
It’s far better to take preventative measures to minimise the chances of a frozen pipe. Make sure that all of the pipes in your house are properly insulated. This will not only help to reduce the chance of a frozen pipe – it’ll save you money on your heating bills in the long term.