Rain, strong winds, hail. How can you prepare your home for winter? A little maintanence now may prevent damage to your home or loss of power when the storms hit.
If your gutters are full, rain water has no where to go. This will mean water seeping into your roof space causing damage to electric wiring, insulation and ceilings. Cleaning out the gutters now making sure all leaves and branches are removed & down pipes are clear can save expensive repairs. This may be a job for a company specialising in cleaning gutters or a handy person – a competent person with the correct safety equipment and no fear of heights.
Trimming branches away from power lines
Trees and shrubs growing in close proximity to power lines are a safety risk and can cause fires, blackouts or power surges. Foliage and branches must be kept clear of power lines and any electricity infrastructure.
If trees are touching or in close proximity to power lines, contact your local council or Western Power to seek advice or hire an tree removal specialist (or arborist) to do the work.
Check if punning is safe to do yourself –
- Before pruning tree branches or foliage, look around you for overhead powerlines
- Pruning should be done before trees and shrubs grow to within one metre in any direction of power lines
- Avoid pruning in high winds
Condition of your roof
Not something easily done yourself but tiles and ridge capping should be checked from time to time to make sure there are no broken tiles or dislodged ridge capping that will allow the rain in. Check all your valleys and flashings for blockages and rust, as well as checking whether the size of the flashing can cope with the water volume, especially in heavy downpours of rain. Tin roofs should be checked any where leaks can occur – at seams, fasteners, ridge caps, ridge vents, flashings, valley gutters and skylights.
Outside lights and fittings
Check your garden and outside areas to make sure all fittings used over summer are weatherproof and in good condition. If unsure about the safety of a power point, pump or light fitting call an licensed electrician.
Before using your heater for the first time this winter, have a quick look over. Make sure the cord is in good repair, dust off, vacuum any filters. If in doubt, call a licensed repair person to make sure your heater is in safe working order (please see our post on gas heaters for more information).
So stock up on good books, movies, jigsaws and games. Get the soup and casserole recipes ready. Pull out the blankets & knitting. Its only for a few months – enjoy it!