In recent times, Australia has faced severe weather conditions, marked by high winds and heavy rainfall. These events, along with similar occurrences in recent years, can sometimes surpass the design benchmarks set by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) for homes constructed within the country.
During extreme weather conditions, rainwater can forcefully breach closed windows and be propelled onto roofs in ways homes aren’t designed for, leading to potential water ingress. While the resulting damage may often be minor, it can still cause significant stress for homeowners.
Preparing Your Home for Severe Weather
To safeguard your home against water ingress during severe weather events, incorporate the following checks into your ongoing home maintenance routine:
- Clear Gutters and Downpipes: Regularly ensure that gutters and downpipes are free of debris, leaves, and any obstructions.
- Roof Inspection: Check your roof routinely for signs of slipped roof tiles, cracks, and potential entry points for water ingress, especially after recent contractor visits (e.g., Foxtel or solar panel installation).
- Stormwater Drains: Examine stormwater drains for any blockages that may impede proper drainage.
- Window and Door Seals: Inspect window and door seals for signs of cracks or aging, as these can be potential entry points for water.
- Identify and Seal Entry Points: Look for other possible entry points and promptly seal them if necessary.
Dealing with Water Ingress During a Severe Weather Event
If you experience water ingress during a severe weather event, follow these steps:
- Emergency Assistance: In case of an emergency, contact the SES (State Emergency Service) for immediate assistance.
- Mitigate Incoming Water: Take necessary actions to stop or reduce the incoming water as much as possible.
- Contact Home Insurer: Reach out to your home insurer as the first step to understanding the options available to you.
Post-Severe Weather Event Actions
When severe weather events occur, homeowners typically contact their home builder for inspections or rectification of damage. However, if the issues arise due to the severe weather event, it is advisable to consider the following:
- Emergency Situations: For immediate assistance, contact the SES.
- Non-Emergency Situations: Take actions to mitigate water ingress and then contact your home insurer to explore available options.
- Claimable Under Insurance: Damages caused by severe weather events are likely claimable under your owner’s home insurance.
- Maintenance Responsibilities: If the issues are a result of the severe weather event, they may fall under your owner’s home insurance or be considered maintenance issues for you to address.
In conclusion, proactively addressing potential vulnerabilities and promptly seeking assistance or taking preventive measures during severe weather events can minimize the impact on your home and provide peace of mind for homeowners.