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Prepare and protect your home before the summer rainy season

Prepare and protect your home before the summer rainy season
30-08-22 / Staff Writer

Prepare and protect your home before the summer rainy season

Johannesburg - “South Africa’s spring and summer rainfall season is around the corner, but with the wonderful smell of rain during the first downpour also comes the possibility of heavy rains and thunderstorms”, says Liza de Beer from Old Mutual Insure.

As the South African Weather Service predicts above-normal rainfall and flooding during late spring this year, every homeowner should do general maintenance to prepare and protect their property from water, wind, and storm-related property damage.

You can reduce the risk of damage to your home with the following simple steps:

Maintain and clean those gutters

  • Gutters are your home’s first line of defence against heavy rains, as they catch rainwater and guide the water away from the roof and home.
  • With trees shedding their leaves in autumn, plant and other debris that build up in the gutters over time can lead to blockages, which means the gutters can no longer channel the water effectively.
  • Debris can also prevent the redirection of water flow from the roof towards a proper drainage system and could even push the rainwater under the roof and inside your home.
  • Excessive blockages can also lead to faster wearing down of gutters due to the extra weight, which may cause them to break or fall off.
  • The drainage towards the roof and facia boards can also cause wood rot and other roof-related problems.
  • Gutters have a certain lifespan, which is shortened if they are not maintained – this is one of the most overlooked aspects of protecting your home during the rainy season.

Do not forget about drainage systems

  • As dirt and mud accumulate in the drainage systems, you should regularly check and clean drainage systems to make sure there are no debris or obstructions. This will prevent blockage and the damming of water and flooding.

Check for any roof leaks

  • Maintain and repair the roof before it is too damaged to repair, as a complete roof replacement can be expensive.
  • Do a simple inspection of the roof before each rainy season to make sure that you are prepared.
  • Be sure to check for loose roof shingles, leaks, or missing and broken roof tiles, and repair or replace those to avoid water damage to your walls, ceilings, and furniture.

Check for indoor leaks and any ceiling damage

  • Remember to also check the inside of your home for signs of leaks, especially on your house’s ceiling.
  • Any signs of water leakage, moisture, mould, discoloration, and water rings are indications that you have a leaky roof that needs attention.
  • It is important to determine the cause of the damage to sort out the source of the problem and thus avoid or reduce any future damage.

Keep an eye on trees close to your home

  • Trees can cause severe damage during heavy rains and storms, however, well maintained trees and bushes are less likely to damage your home or vehicles.
  • Prevent and reduce damage by making sure that large trees on your property and towering over your home or where vehicles are parked are sturdy and that there are no loose branches that can easily break during a storm or heavy rains.

Prepare for wind

  • During the rainy season, water is not your only concern – wind can also cause damage, not just to your property, but also to your neighbour’s property, for example, with falling trees or non-maintained carports.

Check electricity connections

  • Contract a qualified electrician to check all the electrical circuits and the wiring on your property to secure it against any water leakage.
  • Lightning protection is also important as lightning can travel through electrical systems, aerials, satellite dishes, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Installing the necessary preventative measures will give you peace of mind during an electrical storm.
  • Install power surge protectors to protect your electrical appliances.

Prevention is better than cure

"If you anticipate the possible damages caused by rain, wind, and storms and proactively prepare your home for the rainy season, you will prevent and limit unforeseen damage as far as possible. You can also rest assured that Old Mutual Insure provides the necessary cover for valid weather-related claims”, concludes Liza.

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