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Gear Your Home Up to Weather The Storms


Spring is the season of renewal, a time for new beginnings. In our beautiful country, it is also a time that brings in a change in the weather – potential heavy rains, storm damage and even floods in some regions. To our ears, this sounds like the ideal time for preparing your home - one of your most valuable assets - for what the season may bring.

Whether you live in a summer or winter rainfall area, the precautions are the same. Getting ready for storms and extreme weather means doing the following:

  • Cleaning out those gutters still filled with winter leaves and making sure that the gutters are firmly attached to walls. Strong winds can rip gutters away, causing backed up water to flood into your home.
  • Cutting away dead branches and removing trees that could fall onto the house and cause expensive and extensive damage.
  • Check the roof for cracked or broken tiles. Replacing tiles means reducing the chances of water getting inside and damaging ceilings, walls, electrical systems and prized possessions.
  • Check that the ‘roof cap’ at the top of the roof is not cracked and that all joints are properly sealed.
  • Look for cracks and chips in brick walls where water could accumulate and infiltrate the house or cause rising damp and costly damage to plaster and finishes.
  • If you live in an area like Gauteng where lightning storms are frequent, ensure that lightning conductors are in place if you have a thatched roof. Make sure that your power supply is correctly earthed.
  • Prepare for power outages. Storms and lightning can damage power lines and infrastructure. Make sure that you have torches and emergency lighting available. If you have a generator, it must be fuelled and ready to go. Remember that when the power comes back on, it could be accompanied by a power surge, so disconnect valuable electronic equipment.
  • Electrical storms and lightning strikes near power lines can cause massive power spikes. These spikes can put electronic equipment at risk. The remedies are either to unplug all electronics when a storm looms, or fitting surge arrestors to your electrical items.
  • An essential part of being prepared is having a handy list of all emergency numbers you may require. Keeping it where it can be quickly consulted will bring help that much quicker.

Being adequately prepared for changing seasons begins with understanding the weather patterns in your area and taking precautions based on previous experiences. Knowing that you live in a low-lying area that has flooded in the past means taking more precautions than the average householder who needs to consider the occasional storm and the potential damage it brings in its wake. Take it a step further by having the right home insurance cover in place so that you can continue to live your way through the storms.

 


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