Your property and storm season
If you are in Western Australia, you’re already just coming into storm season – you might have felt the gusts and pressure changes already. The rest of the country has a little more time to prepare, starting nearer the end of the year, but it’s never too early to prepare for the intense weather. Have you prepped your property in these three ways?
1) Shore up your roof
It isn’t just your roof that gets damaged in these instances.
Your roof is the primary barrier between you and the elements of nature, whether that’s rain, sun, hail or wind, but also one of the most vulnerable. Researchers at the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University found that the most common types of cyclone damage included roofs being blown away or battens failing to stay secure. It pays to ensure that it is in tip top shape before the deluge comes.
It isn’t just your roof that gets damaged in these instances – the resulting exposure of your home to the elements can destroy your property entirely. Considering that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that severe storms have a higher price tag on their damage than cyclones, earthquakes, bushfires or floods, it’s clear this isn’t just a matter of safety: it’s financial too.
Try heading into the interior space of your roof (keeping an eye out for any carpet snakes or possums) and check for thinness, cracks or even outright holes. Any of these could mean a lack of structural integrity. Get them repaired as soon as possible to avoid needing to refinance your home loan to fix the bigger problems that result from negligence.
2) Prepare for flooding
About 30 per cent of Australia’s natural disasters are made up of floods.
According to Green Cross Australia, about 30 per cent of Australia’s natural disasters are made up of floods. That ranges from flash floods due to heavy rainfall to bursting river boundaries. Heavily-populated areas can also suffer from flooding due to overflow of drainage systems (particularly if they are older suburbs.
They say that a little water never hurt anyone, but flooding and rainfall beg to differ. The Bureau Meteorology outlook for June 2016 to August 2016 predicts that this will be a La Nina period: where rainfall is even more likely than usual due to atmospheric and environmental effects. As a result, it’s more important than ever to prepare for flooding.
If you do live in a flood-prone area, you might want to consider raising the level of your flooring to mitigate the damage, as well as invest in air-tight aluminum frames for windows and doors. Flooding, when it comes, is practically impossible to avoid entirely, but these steps should help to reduce the price tag on your repair bill.
3) Fix any structural faults
Storms and flood can create damage to your home that makes you vulnerable to the next one.
Storms and flood can create damage to your home that makes you vulnerable to the next one, such as rotten timber, rusted metal or termite attacks. Regular maintenance should be a part of your monthly schedule, whether it’s your own home or an investment property.
Poorly-connected guttering, eaves and fascias are particularly at risk, as are any parts of your property that aren’t a solid section of the primary structure. Pay close attention to conservatories and the like, as these might not be built to the same structural strength as the actual home.
If you do find these issues, either yourself or through a property inspector, make sure you get them assessed by a professional as soon as possible. These structural problems don’t just make you more vulnerable come the next storm, but can create permanent issues for your property regardless of the weather.
Protecting your property from the elements of Australia is a year-long effort. Make sure you keep your real estate repaired and updated and the storm season won’t give you even a flash of doubt!