Some of the most devastating storms and flooding occur in summer, especially along the east coast. A combination of torrential rain, destructive winds, large hailstones and lightning can cause flash floods, unfroof buildings, and damage trees. On average, severe storms are responsible for more damage, measured by property insurance costs, than tropical cyclones, earthquakes, floods or bushfires.
Follow this guide to ensure your rental property stays safe in the event of a summer storm.
Fix the roof
Get the roof checked for leaks and other damage, especially around chimneys, skylights and vents.Fix any cracked, broken or displaced tiles. Have any built-up dirt removed as it can block the drainage channels on the underside of the tiles. Have the roof inspected by an expert tradesperson every 5-7 years to identify and remedy issues such as re-pointing, re-bedding and replacing the ridge or hip caps.
Clean gutters and drains
Check for rust, holes, blockages, other damage and that gutters and downpipes are securely attached. Drains should be clear of blockages and free-flowing. Channel water to drain away from the property – install soakwells and grade the yard away from the home.
Trim trees and branches
Have a professional prune overhanging trees and branches on your property so they can’t fall on the home or power lines. If there are trees not on your property (e.g. verge trees) or power lines that may pose a threat to your property, contact your council or energy company to check them.
Maintain the yard and balcony
Damaged windows and doors should be repaired. Anchor structures like pergolas, fences, above-ground pools, trampolines, roofing iron and sheds. If you keep chemicals or poisons on the premises, be sure to store them well above ground level in case of flash floods.
Check your insurance policy
Ensure your insurance policy is up-to-date and the level of cover is sufficient. Make sure the insurance policy provides cover for the types of events specific to the location of your rental, these may include flash flood, storm water runoff, associated landslip (or landslide) and damage to properties by trees.
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