• Ben and Lisa Meader

Summer is Fast Approaching - How to Storm Proof Your Home

Traditionally our storm season starts around October and ramps up come December, but the increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events means it pays, literally, to be prepared. In NSW, 61% of all home claims made with NRMA Insurance during 2018-19 were the result of storm damage, the highest proportion since 2014-15. There is a lot you can do to protect your home from wild weather, but the first step is to check what your insurance covers.

Most policies do cover storm damage, but the specifics of what it actually covers and how much you get back will vary greatly. Check the PDS of your policy to ensure you are comfortable with your coverage considering the risks at your location.

Be Prepared

Once that is done, you can get to work making your property as storm-proof as possible. In many ways, this is like preparing your house before bushfire season. The team here at Meader Constructions have a few tips to prepare you for storm season and improve the safety of your home.

Clean your Gutters and Downpipes

When gutters and downpipes clog with leaves and debris, water overflows and spills down where it can damage walls and footings. If you’ve ever considered gutter guard. We recommend Leaf Stopper. It is fire-rated aluminium mesh that will outlast other materials and it is the only guttering system that will help protect your home from bushfire, pests and leaf-filled gutters.

Roof inspection, gutter clean and Leaf Stopper installed

Repair Gutters and Downpipes

Fix loose, sagging, or leaking gutters and make sure downpipes carry drainage well away from the house.

Check your Roof, Flashing and Skylights

Fix broken tiles or damaged sheeting and remember to check inside your roof space for any signs that your sarking is letting in water. Check that roof sheeting and flashings are screwed down firmly and no screws are missing. Check all roof penetrations, such as skylights, chimneys, evaporative coolers and vent pipes to make sure that they are flashed properly, and silicone is intact.

Inspect the House Cladding

Check for damage, cracks, and holes. Seal up leaks with external grade paintable caulk. Fix any corrosion, loose fittings and rotting or termite-affected timber.

Inspect the Windows

Check the external side for gaps and holes. If minor, seal up with external grade paintable caulk. If window mouldings and flashings are missing or timber mouldings contain rot, these need to be repaired to ensure the window is watertight.

Overhanging or Dangerous Trees

Have trees trimmed, especially if they’ve become weakened by the Drought. When laden with rainwater, weak trees can snap or become easily uprooted.

Consider Buying a Generator

In the event of a power outage, a portable emergency generator can provide enough power to keep a few important lights and appliances running.

Secure and Protect

Have a cover, such as a heavy-duty tarp available to cover your outdoor furniture, barbecues and outdoor equipment. Secure the tarps with ropes or heavy objects such as bricks. Additionally, make sure loose items such as trampolines and garden sheds are secured to the ground.

Be Ready for the Worst

Prepare a disaster supply kit, have it easily accessible and inform everyone within the house as to where it is located. Scan and store important documents on thumb drives or hard drives located away from your home (or in the Cloud).

We desperately need the rain so fingers crossed we get a good dumping this storm season but without the damage. If climbing onto the roof or getting home storm-ready is more than you want to handle yourself, please feel free to contact us on 0428 594 329 or via email to arrange an inspection.

The Meader Constructions team is located in Warialda, NSW and services the New England & North Western areas.

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