The Chronicle

How to prepare your home for storm season

- MONIQUE VAN DER HEYDEN

Australia is a country known for its ruthless weather. We are taught from a young age how to protect ourselves from the harsh sun, but we often forget to protect our homes from the elements. Summer is quickly approachin­g and bringing with it strong winds and torrential rain, particular­ly for our northern states. Now is the time to equip your home in order to have the best defense this storm season.

Protect your windows and doors

The most common issue associated with harsh weather is damage to windows and garage doors. Strong winds pack quite the punch, and unprotecte­d windows can struggle to withstand the pressure. You can protect glass features with shutters, awnings, or insect screens. Garage doors may seem sturdy, but can cop a lot of damage during a storm, so it’s worth checking yours is adequately wind and debris rated.

Clear your gutters and downpipes

Blocked gutters can cause significan­t water damage which can result in costly repairs. As water penetrates the exterior of your home, internal plastering can be damaged, beams can begin to rot, and the foundation­s of your home can become victim to many structural issues.

The best solution is to get on top of your blocked gutters now before the rain hits. Aim to clear out your drains and downpipes twice a year to make sure water can flow away effectivel­y.

Check for roof damage

Your roof does a lot of work protecting your home from the heavy summer storms. As a result, you may find your roof needs some touching up heading into this year’s storm season. The best place to start is by assessing your roof for cracks to ensure there will be no unexpected leaks. Your roof tiles are another area to inspect. Loose tiles can cause severe damage if swept off by a big gust of wind; hiring someone to ensure your roof is secure is a must.

Check the driveway

This is a tip that a lot of people look over. However, maintainin­g your driveway can be vital during storm season, and is a lot easier than having to repair the damage. Ensuring that your driveway is free from cracks and dips can help channel water away from your house and off into the street, preventing moisture from gathering under your foundation which can result in much larger problems.

Create an emergency plan

Every household should have an emergency plan in place, so all family members know how to seek necessary help during and after a storm. The plan should include informatio­n on how to turn off

water, power, and gas if needed, insurance informatio­n, how to remain in contact if separated, and indicate the safest location on the property. Storms can come on hard and fast, the best thing you can do is be prepared.

 ?? ?? Now is the time to equip your home in order to have the best defense this storm season.
Now is the time to equip your home in order to have the best defense this storm season.

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