The weather report is in: another La Niña summer is on the way for the east coast of Australia. This year will be our third consecutive year of La Niña summers, with 2020 and 2021 having brought rain, flash flooding and storm damage to our doorsteps. While this bodes well for some drier regions – which, 10 years ago, could only have dreamt of this much rain – it poses increased risks for homes and buildings in low-lying areas or near waterways.
For those of us living in southeast Australia, a La Niña summer means rainfall will be 20-30% higher than usual, and the risk of flooding and water damage will be high. Here are our professional building inspectors’ best tips on preparing your home for a La Niña summer.
Preparing your home for La Niña weather
Clean storm water drains
When there’s heavy rainfall, storm water drains provide an essential drainage function to keep water away from your house. If they’re blocked, large amounts of water can pool around your property during a storm. So, check them for blockages and clear out debris to ensure things flow properly and reduce your risk of flooding.
Clean your gutters
Ensure no leaves and debris are sitting in the gutters around your roof. If your gutters get clogged, water can overflow and pool around the exterior of your house.
Remember to also clean out any downpipes, which allow the water to drain from the roof down to the ground and into the stormwater drains. They’ll need to be in tip-top condition during a La Niña summer!
Have your roof inspected for leaks
Checking up on the state of your roof is a good idea ahead of a rainy summer, especially if you’ve lived in your home for a while, and especially if the roof is tiled. A structurally sound roof will be particularly important this summer, since the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast hailstorms.
Checking your own roof is risky, so we recommend you leave this part of La Niña-proofing to the professionals.
Trim overgrown trees around your property and powerlines
Wild weather can bring strong enough winds to uproot trees or cause branches to break off. Protect your home and power lines from falling branches by cutting back trees or branches which are close to your home. This is another task we recommend leaving to the professionals as working at heights and near powerlines is risky.
Check your home insurance coverage
There’s never a better time to check your insurance than when a summer of lashing rain and flood alerts is on the way! Take some time to review your home insurance policy to help reduce your risk of financial loss or damage from severe weather.
Check your windows
Damaged window fittings can allow water to seep into your home. Particularly in timber homes, window fittings can warp and shrink over the years and with wet weather. So, check if yours have survived the last two summers in good condition and have them repaired if you spot a potential leak.
We know it’s not easy checking for problems like this with an untrained eye, so if you’d like some help reducing flood risk and improving wet weather resilience at your home, we are here to help. Book a Professional Building Inspection with us on our website, or call 0432 261 380 to speak with a member of our team.
Whatever you do, now is the time to start preparing your home for another La Niña summer!