Prepare Your Home for Summer with this Handy Checklist
Prepare your home for Summer weather in the Winter and forestall denied home insurance claims and extensive storm damage with our handy checklist.
In South Africa, summer usually means humidity, strong winds, rain, hail, and extreme weather. Is your home ready for the onslaught? Winter is often the best time to prepare your home for the rigours of a stormy summer.
Why is it Important to Prepare Your Home for Summer?
Storm & flood damage is not always covered by home insurance plans in South Africa. Many policies exclude flood damage from their coverage outright. Additionally, it is often part of the terms and conditions of your insurance policy that you, as the homeowner, take reasonable steps to maintain the structure of your building.
If you do not take reasonable maintenance steps, your home insurance claim may get rejected by insurance companies. By preparing your home for the hot, rainy weather before Summer arrives, you can minimise damage and even possibly avoid the need to claim at all. It is sure to save you money in the long run.
Here are steps you can take to ensure damage to your home doesn’t result in costs you cannot afford to pay and losses you cannot recover.
8 Ways to Prepare Your House for South Africa’s Summer Weather
1. Start by Repairing and Maintaining Your Roof.
A roof doesn’t maintain itself. Because it is exposed to the elements, it can gather wear quickly. When a storm strikes, you could find yourself battling leaks or even collapses if your roof hasn’t been adequately prepared. The easiest way to maintain your roof is to hire a professional at least once a year to find and repair cracked tiles and places where the roof may be vulnerable to leaks. This cost is sure to be lower than the resulting damages if your roof doesn’t withstand the weather.
2. Inspect and Repair Your Boundary Walls.
When checking your boundary walls, look for cracks and weaknesses in the structure. You can also ensure that storm water can drain properly from your property. There should be a place for it to escape the yard, otherwise your yard may flood. When this happens, water may get into your house and cause damage to your home’s contents. A handyman can find and seal cracks in your walls, replace weakened boundary walls, and ensure there is adequate storm water drainage before summer arrives at a relatively low cost.
3. Check and Fix or Replace Your Geyser.
Geysers are designed to last at most 3 years. It’s a smart idea to check it from time to time to ensure it doesn’t burst unexpectedly and flood your house. The fluctuating cold temperatures in winter can wear down your geyser, leading to bursts and leaks towards the end of the season. Call in experts to check and maintain your geyser towards the end of Winter and you could avoid flood damage.
4. Check and Repair Your Windows & Doors.
Winter weather can be hard on the seals around your windows and doors. It’s best to replace the putty sealing your windows and doors, where applicable, before the rainy season arrives. You can also replace any damaged doors and windowpanes in the process. The goal is to have a home that is sealed properly against the wet weather.
5. Clear and Maintain Your Gutters.
During autumn and winter, your gutters will have filled with leaves and debris. Technically, you should clear your gutters at least weekly, but we know that during Winter it can become less of a priority. You can hire someone to clear your gutters weekly or request your garden services to include it in their maintenance of your property.
Gutters cluttered with leaves and dirt will cause water to dam up and damage your roof and home. It could result in flooding, and the fix is so easy – clear them out often. You can also inspect the gutters, seal cracks, and treat rust while the weather is still dry. Functioning gutters protect the structure of your building in the rainy season.
6. Check and Fix Your Piping and Plumbing.
Cold weather can sometimes cause damage to plumbing and pipes. Before summer arrives, you can hire an expert to check and repair any damaged spots. In this way, you can avoid plumbing leaks that cause flood damage in your home and on your property.
7. Check and Repair Your Pool.
What’s Summer without a great pool to enjoy the hot weather in? During the Winter months, your pool can take strain, with extra leaves and cold weather causing cracks. Before Summer arrives, you can repair your pool and ensure it is ready.
Start by replacing the filter sand, checking the pump, and checking the surface of the pool. The walls may have cracks and damage. The easiest solution is to hire professionals to repair and maintain your pool. Alternatively, you can watch D-I-Y instructional videos to do the repair and maintenance work yourself.
8. Get the Right Comprehensive Home Contents Insurance and Buildings Insurance.
Household insurance is one of the most important elements in your preparations for Summer. A properly maintained home could still experience disaster. With the right cover in place, you can weather any storm and claim back for natural disasters. Make sure that the insurance you purchase covers risks that your home is exposed to.
Consider things like structural damage due to hail, fire, and storms. Find out if the policy covers damage due to power surges, floods, and other risks. You should also make sure the cover you get can cover demolition costs, legal costs, and the costs to replace and repair the structure and contents of your home.
Not all cover options are alike. Dial Direct Home Insurance includes flood damage , while Old Mutual Home Insurance includes cover for the repair of aerials and satellites. Before you choose your household insurance cover company, it is a good idea to find out their satisfaction ratings for paying out home insurance claims.
If your home isn’t covered, you can start today by getting a home insurance quote by filling in the form at the bottom of this page. You won’t need to call anyone. Instead, the ideal insurance provider will contact you!
Disclaimer: The information in this article is correct at the time it was published. The contents of this article should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice but is provided for informational purposes only.