If one thing is to be taken for granted in Australia, it's an outbreak of wild weather. This continent is renowned for thunderstorms, cyclones and inland wind events, and if your home hasn't been affected by one so far, it may be just a matter of time. You may be aware of these risks and feel that you are 'covered' in the event of such an emergency because you pay insurance premiums. However, do you also engage in regular maintenance to make sure that your home is as sturdy as possible so it can mount a considerable defence? If not, you may be in for a rude surprise. What should you be doing?
The power of mother nature sometimes needs to be seen to be believed and rainstorms of biblical proportions can often affect your community with little warning. When combined with strong winds, this can send water into homes that are ill-prepared and cause thousands of dollars' worth of damage. Many parts of your home can be vulnerable, especially so if you do not employ regular maintenance.
What Insurance Companies Look for
You may be surprised to learn that insurance companies are taking a long, hard look at these claims and especially if they affect older homes in your neighbourhood. They will want to have a close look at the point of penetration to see if any putty was cracked or old or whether storm beads were missing, and they may also look at your gutters to see if they had recently been cleaned. Any one of these failures could allow water to pour into your home when disaster could have been averted otherwise.
They may also look at the condition of your landscaping to see if you have been taking enough care there. If trees have been allowed to get too close to the home, then they could interfere with foundations or damage parts of the roof. If a garden is particularly overgrown right next to the house it could cause water to gather and flow underneath, leading to dampness and foundational issues.
Don't Be Complacent
Don't expect your insurance company to pay out without asking questions, just because you pay premiums. You need to do your part to provide a level of protection in these situations. If you're not sure if you are being compliant, bring in a building consultant, such as Jeffrey Hills and Associates, to draw up a plan and put things right, ideally before the rainy season arrives.