home insurance

Spring has sprung and with that we can soon expect the first big rains of the Gauteng rainy season sometime in September. The arrival of that first Jozi afternoon thunderstorm is often the signal that warmer days are here to stay and our scenery is about to get a little greener, however, it also means hailstorms and possible water damage to our properties.

Ensuring your home is ready for rainy season can save you in the long run. Follow these tips and be 100% certain of what your insurance policy does and does not cover to avoid any nasty surprises.

Here is a list of the top six things you can easily and quickly do to prepare your home for the rainy season:

1. Start at the top! Check your roof.
You should check your roof regularly to make sure there is no damage which could lead to leaks in your ceiling or it collapsing under heavy rain. Check for major cracks, loose tiles, or any holes in your roof. If you have a metal roof you should check for rust damage and make sure that there are no spots on your roof where water wells up and remains stagnant. Replace damaged tiles or repair rust or damages metal sheeting as soon as possible. Leaks in your roof could lead to damp in your ceilings and walls which could lead to structural damage.

2. Clear your gutters.
Again, these should be checked regularly and cleared of any debris. If they are not, they can collect water leading to them collapsing or damaging your roof, ceiling and outside walls of your home, which can lead to major structural damage in the long run. You also need to repair sagging or loose gutters and ensure that they are sealed.

3. Check for mould.
Mould is a sure sign of water damage or damp in your walls and ceiling. You can remove mould with mould remover from your local hardware store but be careful as these chemicals can be hazardous. You should also consider damp proofing your walls and purchasing a humidifier for your home. Again, this is to prevent any long-term structural damage.

4. Prune your trees.
Remove any dead or hanging branches from your trees to prevent them from falling onto your car, the roof of your house or through a window during a major thunderstorm. A stray branch can cause major damage which could cost tens of thousands of Rands to fix.

5. No electronics on the floor.
All your electronics should be raised off the floor to prevent water damage in the unfortunate event that your home is flooded. This will also remove the risk of being electrocuted or damaging your homes electrical system.

6. Check your homeowner’s insurance coverage.
Some homeowner’s insurances will not cover your property for damage caused by a natural disaster such as torrential rain if you live in a high-risk area. Speak to your insurance broker to make sure that your home insurance policy covers you for water, hail, and storm damage.

As a homeowner it is essential that you do everything you can to protect your home from weather damage but also have the right cover in place to protect you if there is an unavoidable disaster.

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