Queensland is well known for its storm seasons. Even as far south as Brisbane, the effects of events such as cyclones can be felt and the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a 70% chance of a La Niña developing this spring and summer. This means increased flooding, cyclones and storm activity. So, take a look around – is your property storm ready?
What Does a Storm-Ready Property Look Like?
Well, it looks neat, tidy and well maintained.
Things like loose debris, damaged building materials, and unchecked trees are what can cause the most damage during storm season. What you’re aiming for is a property that is missile-free – in a storm, anything is fair game!
What Things Should I Do To Prepare My Property For Storm Season?
Clear The Yard
It’s time for a big clean up of the trees and gardens! Trim trees back and remove any trees that are weakened or affected by invasive insects such as termites. A good whoosh of wind could have that tree toppling onto your house.
Make sure any loose materials, such as wooden planks and bricks, are stored safely in the shed or under the house. If you can pick it up, so can the wind, and these items can be dangerous and damaging missiles.
Check your fences to ensure they are well maintained, particularly wooden paling fences. These things can make excellent spears (no, I’m not recommending it).
Have a plan for what to do with outdoor furniture and play equipment in the event of a storm. This may involve tucking it away in a shed, where possible, or tying it down. I’m not even kidding when I say YouTube is filled with videos of flying trampolines.
Check and Maintain Your Home
The majority of your home maintenance checks will be on the roofs and gutters.
What sort of roofing do you have? Tiled roofing can pose the most issues, with broken and loose tiles becoming easy targets for some good gusts of wind. Colourbond sheeting, whilst often more reliable and safe in storms, are still prone to being lifted by wind, and require checking to ensure all sheets are fastened securely and properly sealed.
These checks aren’t just for safety, but also for the protection of your home and assets. The first, and maybe most obvious, reason is that you don’t really want to pay for a new roof (and potentially a hotel bill while you wait for repairs to be done).
The second, possibly more important, reason is that when your roof has even a tiny amount of damage, water can get in. The damage that water can cause to the structure of your home, even through a tiny crack, can be unbelievable and even almost invisible until it’s too late. Let’s try to prevent that!
It’s also important to clean out your gutters. Gutters that are filled with debris can back up and send water through your roof, causing untold amounts of damage to your home and assets.
It’s also a good time to check that your gutters are securely fastened and that they haven’t been weakened by rust.
Be aware of whether you’re in a flood zone. If your home is on stumps or stilts, carefully check the condition of these to make sure they have the strength to withstand powerful floodwaters.
Check other building materials on your home, such as cladding, windows, and doors, to ensure they are secure, maintained, and not liable to let water leaks into your home.
Lastly, don’t forget other structures on your property! Sheds, outdoor toilets and other structures are often forgotten about during storm season checks – don’t make that mistake.
How Can I Tell That Everything On My Property Is Correctly Maintained?
If you are unsure that everything is up to scratch, get in contact with a qualified and experienced building inspector to give your property a once over. They can let you know what issues they find so you can get in touch with a tradie and sort it out before storm season hits.
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