How to protect your home and garden from storm damage this Christmas

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  • A storm's a brewing' so be safe, not sorry

    Batten down the hatches – this year’s not going to be a White Christmas so much as a stormy one. With wind and rain set to batter the nation over the next few days, it’s worth taking some extra precautions to ensure your house survives the seasonal onslaught.

    Related: Home maintenance myths – 4 things you SHOULDN’T do this winter

    With help from The Greenhouse People, we’ve come up with these smart ideas for protecting any property against the elements. Stay safe people.

    1. Pack up your garden


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    A full shed is far more likely to be blown away than an empty one, so make sure yours is crammed to the rafters for your tools, lawnmower and any pot plants or hanging baskets that could otherwise be ‘taken out’ by the wind.

    ‘If you haven’t got enough to fill it, try a few paving slabs or even a bag of sand to help weigh it down,’ say the Greenhouse People. ‘And make sure any electrical power tools are raised from the ground (for instance on a shelf or in a plastic storage box) to prevent damage should your shed flood or leak.’

    2. Protect your greenhouse

    A fragile greenhouse is especially at risk in high winds. ‘To prepare, check your greenhouse for signs of weakness and broken glass panels which are most likely to fall victim to strong winds. If your glass is held in with clips, we recommend using silicone sealant to secure them.’

    Your greenhouse could even take off if it’s not firmly attached to the floor – ideally with bolts. And it should sit on concrete or slabs, not on a lawn or bare earth.

    3. Check the roof


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Now’s the time to do a quick inspection and check the roof is safe for Santa’s landing.There’s no need to climb up there – and it’s certainly not recommended in this weather. You should be able to spot any potential problems fro the ground or inside the loft. Look for mould, missing tiles or leaks – if you spot any of these, call a roofing expert to get them checked out.

    It’s also important to clear your gutters of any leaves, otherwise rainwater can build up and damage your property.

    4. Secure your windows and doors

    According to The Greenhouse People, solid wood or hollow metal doors are most likely to survive a storm. In any case, make sure yours are locked – external doors should be fitted with extra bolts, and you can draught-proof windows and doors with sealant, available in most DIY stores.

    5. Put the car in the garage


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    You’ll need to find somewhere else to stash the presents I’m afraid. Well, you don’t want to have your windscreen mashed by a falling tile, do you? Keep the garage door shut and locked down tight, too. If it’s getting cold, grit the driveway.

    6. Don’t forget the garden hose

    Check it’s disconnected from the mains and is free of any water so that ice can’t build up and crack your pipes.

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    And if things do go wrong, don’t head into the middle of the storm to fix them. Wait until things have calmed down and it’s safe to venture out.

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