When bad weather is coming, ensure you have done all you can to keep your home safe and secure.

Severe weather can damage homes and infrastructure, disrupt essential services and down power lines. Keep your home safe and prepared for a storm with these tips.

Trees

  • Inspect any trees around house and garage or sheds, looking out for rotted knots around junctions or any other rot down the trunk.
  • Pay special attention to older trees, which can be prone to toppling or may drop heavy limbs.
  • Some species, for example, magnolias are more prone to toppling if the ground is already wet.
  • If you have any doubts, get an arborist to inspect your trees.

Roofs

  • Check older iron roofs that are fixed with nails (as opposed to newer roofs which usually use screws). An annual check is vital to ensure that no nails have worked themselves loose.
  • Loose nails allow the iron to move, eventually pulling out the nail completely, and in the worst cases enables the iron to pull itself free – if heavy wind makes its way into the roof space, the force can lead to more iron pulling free and even cause structural damage.
  • Hire a roofer to knock back in any loose nails with a hammer, or better still, remove and replace with roofing screws.

Guttering

  • Check guttering, spouting and drains regularly for blockages. If drains are unable to move water from your home, it will overflow. Water can then make its way into walls and the subfloor, leading to moisture issues and even damage.
  • Check drainage around the house for blockages. Over time, if water isn’t drained away, saturated ground can cause foundations to slump.
  • Post a job on Builderscrack to have your gutters and spouting inspected.

Yard and Garden

  • Secure loose yard items. Trampolines, in particular, like to become airborne and can cause a lot of damage when landing on conservatories, fences and homes.
  • Barbecues, outdoor furniture, pot plants and anything that could come loose should also be secured.

Fences

  • Inspect older fences for deterioration.
  • Pay attention to the area where the posts transition from in-ground to out-of-ground; this is where rot can weaken posts and make them vulnerable to breaking off.
  • If anything needs repairing, hire a professional fencer to help you out.

Inside

  • In especially powerful winds, close curtains to shield against shattered glass.
  • Unplug electronic devices, to prevent damage during a potential power surge after a power cut.
  • Bring pets inside with you.
  • Ensure you have 3 days supply of water and non-perishable food.
  • Check your torch is working and that you have spare batteries.
  • Stay inside until it is safe.

With all this in place, you can feel confident you have done your best to ensure your home and your family can safely ride out the next storm.