Now that we are experiencing the cool winter months, no one wants to find themselves in a situation where they’re faced with mounting repair bills because of unforseen weather events.
It’s true that the weather is unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare your home to cope with the damaging weather that is sometimes thrown our way. Here are some tips that you can do to ensure you are effectively preparing your home for the winter months ahead.
Ensure you have adequate insurance - A recent study conducted by Quantam Market Research found that in Australia, 1 in 10 Australian homes are underinsured, and even more surprisingly 74% of renters don’t insure their contents and this is not protected by your landlord’s insurance policy.
Some are also caught out by what is and isn’t covered in a standard insurance policy. For example, water damage is often separate to damage caused by flooding, and flooding isn’t always mandatorily covered in a standard policy, so make sure you ask!
Make sure your home and contents insurance is up-to-date, covers all extreme weather events relevant to our climate, and is based on a recent valuation of your property.
When building your new home, make sure you’re fully aware of zoning and building conditions in your area before you start to build to ensure your home is compliant and safe.
There are several ways that you can weatherproof an existing home to help stave off the worst of the damage during an extreme weather event.
Install storm windows - These are windows that can be mounted inside or outside of a home. They can be made from durable glass, or plastic panels or sheets. Apart from acting as insulation against the cold and heat, they can also withstand a lot more pressure from wind and rain, and shatter far less easily than traditional glass windows.
Securely store heavy and sharp objects - Move around your property and take a look at objects that would become dangerous if they were to fall, this includes heavy objects or sharp implements. Make sure these items are stored securely and lower to the ground if possible.
During the spring months, clear gutters and vegetation from around your home to keep it free of leaves and debris that may have accumulated over the winter months. Also make sure to prune back branches hanging close to your home, and weed and mow a good clearance area around the perimeter of your home to slow down the potential spread of flames should a bushfire occur.
Having a safety plan in the event of extreme weather, either winter or summer, in the event of an emergency is a good idea. It may not be the safest option to stay in your home, no matter how well-prepared you are. Listen to television and radio broadcasts and follow directions to either remain indoors, or evacuate.
Make sure you have a list of emergency numbers in an easily accessible location, and have an emergency kit with first aid supplies, a torch with batteries, a battery-powered radio, dry, non-perishable food, water and anything else you may need if you have to move quickly.