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Protecting Your Property this Summer

Ah Summer. Sun, surf and fun times. The time of year that just screams for a pina colada with a little cocktail umbrella. Holiday time. Isn’t it just bliss? Well, while you may be on holiday from your day job, it’s a good time to put in a bit of work at home…in between sipping your fancy cocktail poolside, of course.

Not to put a dampener on your bliss, but last Summer was pretty devastating with some of the worst bushfires and hailstorms on record. And it’s not set to get much better with the ‘Severe Weather in a Changing Climate’ report predicting bush fire risk will increase nationally, tropical cyclones will move further inland and the East Coast of Australia will become more prone to severe flash flooding.

So it’s important for all property owners – whether you’re an owner occupier or investor – to prepare your property/properties for the Summer ahead. Risk mitigation is everything – there are some very basic steps you can take to minimise harm from weather events.

Basic Home / Apartment Maintenance is Vital

Simple stuff really – clean your gutters. Stormwater ingress is more likely to impact you during heavy rain events if your gutters and downpipes are blocked with leaves and debris. Ensure they’re free and you can limit stormwater build up, back fill and flooding through your roof cavity. If you live in a leafy suburb, gutter guards are a great option to consider.

On top of this, check your roof and windows are in good condition on a regular basis. Your home’s roof and windows are the only barrier between you and the elements. Small holes, cracks and deterioration in roofing or windows can lead to stormwater ingress over time (which can cause mould issues) or during heavy rainfall events.

See something? Do something.

It’s really important to attend to immediate risks, like right now. Whether you live in the suburbs or regional, removing imposing risks near your home or permanent structures (such as sheds and fencing) is critical. Here’s a little checklist:

  • Trim back any trees that may be too close or hanging over your home and structures
  • Ensure you have clearance around your property (if you are in a bushfire area)
  • Remove any debris that may be a fire risk
  • Store outdoor furniture and other items in a safe place, such as an undercover area or pack them away if not in regular use. If there’s a storm coming, it’s a good idea to tie things down – so make sure you have adequate rope.

Prepare for Flooding

Once you’ve experienced a flood, you know about the importance of preparation. While some floods give you time to get cherished possession out of your home, flash flooding is a whole different story. And well, it’s predicted to become more common – even in metropolitan areas, so it’s never been more important to prep for the worst.

You can prepare by doing the following:

  • Store sandbags in your garage for a worst-case scenario situation.
  • Ensure there is adequate drainage and flood protection measures (dual sump pumps, adequate waterproofing) in low lying areas of your home such as basements and cellars
  • Check all contents in low lying areas (e.g. basements and cellars) are stored off the ground.

Bushfire plan

If you’re living in an area surrounded by bushland, you absolutely must have a bushfire plan. There’s nothing scarier than flames heading towards your home and your loved ones. Google bushfire plan and make a plan with your family, so if it does happen you’re ready.

Right, after all this intense information, it’s time to make some plans, buy some things and get to work. Your reward? Peace of mind and that cocktail waiting poolside.

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