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.


Much has been said about the perils of being stuck in the house 24/7, like family pets interrupting your important conference calls, your partner leaving their dirty dishes everywhere and the lack of respite from the kids.Silver lining: Seven enforced money-saving habits you might want to continue after lockdown

Put you and your loved ones' pop-culture knowledge to the test with Arts Editor Des O'Driscoll's three fiendishly fun quiz rounds.Scene and Heard: the Arts Ed's family entertainment quiz

A passion for heritage and the discovery of some nifty new software has resulted in an Irish architect putting colour on thousands of old photographs, writes Marjorie BrennanBringing the past to life

Richard Hogan, family psychotherapist, addresses a reader's question about life during lockdownHolding on: how to help your child through the crisis

More From The Irish Examiner