Winter is a time for relaxing indoors, making a hot cup of tea and listening to the rain pour down outside.
But winter is also the season of storms, and sometimes, lots of rain.
Sweltering summer heat followed by long periods of rain is causing havoc with our homes and putting unprecedented pressure on our plumbing systems, gardens, roofs, and walls.
With the number of torrential rain events smashing the West Coast, it’s only natural that many are wondering how they can better protect their homes and property from these (unusual) weather events.
Let’s take a look at how you can storm-proof your home this season.
1. Check for leaks
There’s nothing more disappointing than hearing a persistent drip coming from the ceiling – or worse a full-blown leak. Just knowing your precious belongings could be at risk of water damage is enough to warrant a proper search for leaks.
Indeed, it’s something we should all do throughout the wet season. Unfortunately spotting leaks in the roof, walls and ceilings are difficult when there’s no rain. Sometimes it takes a heavy downpour to accurately locate potential leaks in your home.
Next time it’s coming down, take a look for potential weak spots. If you can, climb up into the roof with a torch and make sure there’s no rain making it through. Potential spots to watch for are where roof tiles or sheeting meet up with chimneys, air conditioning units, or along roof gullies. These areas can get easily worn down or can even be prone to rust or decay.
2. Clear your gutters
A leaky, blocked, or loose gutter can drastically reduce your home’s resilience to stormy weather. Making sure all sections are clear of leaves and debris is important to ensure effective drainage from the roof. Water buildup in the gutters can also severely damage your building by building up and spilling over into gardens and even causing water damage inside your home. Make sure to check your gutters after storms too – that’s when most of the debris can be found lying around.
3. Check storm drainage pipes
As one of the most important plumbing pipes in your home, making sure yours is clean and in working order is important to protect your home and garden from becoming flooded. With large amounts of debris passing through every time it rains, it’s important to keep an eye on it for blockages. If you notice a blockage, it’s important to get it checked out and cleared before the next big rain.
4. Prune your branches and eliminate leaves
Overhanging branches are a major cause of concern during the winter months. Heavy winds bringing down branches and leaves onto your roof can cause damage to the structure of your building, or slowly settle in your gutters, roof and clog your downpipes and drainage systems. It’s important you clear up the masses of leaves during the autumn months before they turn into a big soggy mess come spring.
5. Secure loose outdoor furniture
Having to run outside to deal with a crisis unfolding with your outdoor furniture is never fun – especially if it is pouring rain.
Outdoor patios, balconies, and seating areas are often the first victims when the winter storms hit. What used to be the perfect summer chill spot can become a winter storm nightmare with gusts of wind throwing furniture around and damaging property. Whether that means retiring some precious items to the shed for the winter, tying loose objects down, securing the sun umbrella with weights – you’ll thank yourself when the next storm hits.
6. Eliminate summer dampness and mould ASAP
Summer and autumn are ideal times for mould to grow in bathrooms and around your home. Getting rid of mould before it takes hold of your building is essential. Early action literally saves money down the road and can prevent further structural damage to walls, ceilings and floors.
7. Keep an eye on the forecast
Think about it. You go on holiday for a weekend and you come back to a ruined garden with branches strewn over the grass.
Solution? Check the weather in advance.
It’s handy to know what’s in store over the next few days regarding the weather. This makes planning ahead easier and allows you peace of mind knowing that your home is safe and secure.
8. Have an emergency plan ready
Even if you’re nestled in suburbs, in a changing climate, no one is safe from severe weather events. It’s good to have an idea about what you would do in an emergency situation – for example, if the power cuts out and you’ve got a business to keep running. Having emergency power sources ready, along with evacuation plans, or procedures to deal with fire or flash flooding may sound extreme – but after all, better safe than sorry.
9. Stock up on repair essentials
Winter storms are the ideal time for things to go pear-shaped. With reduced visibility, and strong winds, and torrential rain – chances are something going to give way at some point. Whether it’s a smashed window, leaking ceiling, or maybe your shed roof has flown off – it’s good to have the essentials ready to do some quick repair work if needed:
- Duct tape
- Ropes and string
- Small businesses and shops could consider sticking a generator
- Sandbags if you know your home or business is prone to flooding
- Torch with spare batteries
10. Book an inspection with an emergency plumber
Safeguarding your home and business from storms and other severe weather events are becoming a necessity. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Book a home/ business inspection from a qualified emergency plumber Perth and put your mind at ease knowing you’re covered next time the cold front hits.