Weather-hit homes still not repaired

One in six people whose homes were weather-damaged over the last two years have not had them mended yet.

Two thirds said the damage was caused by high winds, according to a poll of more than 3,500 people by AA Ireland.

Over the two years, one in eight people had their homes damaged by the weather.

Most blamed last February’s violent Storm Darwin, which hammered homes, smashing chimney pots, ripping off roof tiles, and breaking fences.

For most people, the damage was not too severe — two thirds incurred repairs of less than €1,500.

However, 6% had to pay over €5,000 to repair their homes.

After high winds, heavy rainfall (33%), snow and ice (11%), and fallen trees (10%), caused the most damage. Flood water and wind-propelled debris were each blamed for 6% of weather damage.

Ten of those polled said lightening had struck their homes, blowing the electrics.

AA Insurance’s Caroline O’Rourke said householders should get their homes winter-ready now.

“Time and time again we’ve processed claims for burst pipes that could have been so easily avoided if the insulation had been given the once-over earlier in the season,” said Ms O’Rourke.

The AA is also advising home-owners to ask a neighbour or relative to check on their home if they’re away during a spell of bad weather.

“Typically, your home insurance policy will cover you for any initial weather damage, a fallen tree which tears a hole in your roof, for example,” said Ms O’Rourke.

“However, if the damage goes undetected for a few days, you won’t be covered for any subsequent damage sustained.”

Ms O’Rourke said pipes should be properly insulated to avoid freezing. Any outside pipes should also be fitted with insulating sleeves if exposed. Anyone leaving their home for a time over the winter should turn off water at the mains and ensure the pipes are drained by letting the water run on all taps and flushing all toilets.

The attic door should ideally be left open, as this will help spread the heat through the building.


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