Storms and severe weather

Preparing for storms and dealing with damage afterwards.

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As large-scale storms become more frequent in the UK, we’ve put together some useful advice on preparing for and dealing with damage caused by high winds and flooding.

Reporting storm damage

If you are a Chorus Homes customer, please report damage as soon as possible using our report a repair form on this website. If your repair is an emergency please call our repairs number, which operates an emergency out of hour’s service when the office is closed. It is always a good idea to take photos of the damage where possible and when it is safe to do so.

Flooding

Storms can cause flooding from burst river banks, water mains and drains. If your home has been flooded contact your local authority straight away. If there is water coming into your property and it’s safe to do so, move contents to upper floors or higher areas to prevent further damage.

Please also let Chorus Homes know as soon as possible as we will need to check your home is safe and secure. Depending on the damage caused, you will need to claim on your home contents insurance for household items that need to be replaced.

Trees, fencing and out building repairs after a storm

Falling trees caused by strong winds can cause damage to homes, buildings, cars and gardens. It’s important to let us know when a tree has been affected by strong winds and is dangerous or if one falls in or around your home.

If a tree falls in a public area outside your home please report it to your local authority. You can find which local authority area you are in by visiting the gov.uk council finder.

Fencing

Fencing is often damaged in strong winds, so we recommended it’s kept in good condition to keep it as sturdy as possible.

  • Where there is a boundary fence or wall in between you and your neighbour’s home it is your responsibility to repair and maintain this fence, which will need to be agreed between you both
  • It is also your responsibility to maintain fences or gates between your home and a path that only you and your neighbours have for entry to your back gardens
  • Where there is a fence between your home and a public space for example a car park Chorus Homes will repair and maintain this fence
  • If a gate only gives access to your home then it is your responsibility to repair and maintain this gate.

Garages and out buildings

Any sheds or other out buildings separate to your home are your responsibility to repair and maintain. Depending on the type of property or tenancy we may repair doors to garages to make them safe and accessible.

Other repairs including roofing will only by done by Chorus Homes do where it is an integral garage or a garage adjoining a house. We will always be able to advise you of the best course of action, depending on the severity of the damage.

If you are a shared owner/leaseholder you may have different or additional repair responsibilities to the ones listed above which are detailed in your lease.

Guttering

Please don’t report overflowing guttering during a major storm to Chorus Homes (as this can be due to the amount of rain being more than the gutter can handle in a short time). Only report a problem with your guttering if it is blocked and overflows in light rain.

Lessening the impact and preventing damage from storms

By following the below tips and where necessary reporting it our repairs team early, you can reduce the amount of damage caused by storms.

  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • If you have prior warning, ensure that things outside are either placed indoors or securely fixed down so they aren’t blown across gardens or outdoor spaces
  • Check your boundary walls and keep fences in good condition
  • Check to make sure that drain pipes and gutters are properly fixed in place
  • Check keep gutters and drains are clear so that rain water can drain away
  • Ensure that any slipped/cracked slates and tiles are reporting and replaced as soon as possible.
  • Look out for cracked or loose cement around ridge tiles or chimneys and book a repair if not
  • Remember that felt flat roofs on sheds only have a limited life expectancy and they need to be regularly checked and replaced where necessary
  • Check brickwork and report any cracks in walls or in the render (coloured covering on top of brickwork)
  • Check external woodwork is in good condition and report any problems.

Insurance claims for shared owners/leaseholders

For shared owners/leaseholders claims for repairing storm damage are usually dealt with under Chorus Homes’s buildings insurance policy, but please be aware there is an excess for all claims of £150. Chorus Homes does not provide home contents insurance to cover replacement of personal items, but recommends ALL customers get suitable cover from the first day they move in.

Useful resources

For more information about storms and how to prepare for bad weather, please visit the below websites.

  • For general guidance and advice on storms and gales visit the Met Office website
  • For information regarding the likelihood of flooding in your area, existing and planned flood defences, historical records and an assessment of future flood risk visit the Environment Agency website.
  • For warnings issued to enable UK citizens to make informed decisions that help protect their life, welfare and property in the event of severe weather visit the Met Office Severe Warning Service website.
  • For information about localised floods, such as those caused by ditches, streams and drainage systems visit the Highways England website.
  • For hourly weather forecasts for the UK. Includes 10 day forecasts along with long range weather reports visit the BBC Weather website, or download the The Met Office Smartphone App.