Checking your home for damage after heavy rain

We’ve all seen firsthand over the past few months the damage water can do to roads and we certainly hope you didn’t experience the power of water damage on your property!  But even if  your home came through the heavy rain events unscathed, thoroughly checking your property and some simple preventative maintenance now that we’re seeing the sun a bit more regularly is well advised!  The old adage of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” doesn’t really fit here and certainly doesn’t ensure your home will remain a healthy living environment or indeed won’t require some preventative maintenance to keep it free from defects.

One of the most common questions we get asked from home owners around the Shoalhaven is: “Are there things I should check at my home after heavy rain?”

With an emphasis on the word ‘heavy’, the answer is yes.

Why? That answer comes in two parts:

  1. To ensure a healthy living environment
  2. To reduce the risk of damage to your home

Ensure a healthy living environment

First things first. The physical structure of your home of course provides protection from the outdoor elements such as rain and temperature variations. But like the humans that occupy it, your home needs to breathe too.

Heavy rain can create a damp environment within your home and this can have an adverse impact on the biology of the air you breathe within it. There are some obvious indications of dampness which can include mould, swollen wooden doors and increased ‘creepy crawlies’ inside (as they try to escape the wet area outside).

It’s important to check for these indications of dampness and, when possible, allow as much ventilation as possible i.e. open windows and doors to let the house ‘breathe’ and dry out. You can also install moisture absorbers and desiccants; hardware stores such as Bunnings have a wide variety available.

If any mould is evident it’s important that you clean the affected areas thoroughly as it can lead to some very serious health hazards.

Reduce the risk of damage to your home

After a major storm or wet weather event it is well worth the time and effort to make a visual external check of your home. It’s always better to err on the side of safety and switch off any gas or electricity supplies before you make the inspection.

If you’re not comfortable doing this then any professional plumbing company can have a technician schedule a visit instead.

If you’re doing it yourself, what should you look for?

The first external visual inspection should include looking for:

  • Physical damage to windows e.g. broken glass
  • Physical damage to the structure of your home like roof fixings
  • Physical damage to guttering or accumulation of debris that will stop gutters from draining and increase the risk of household leaks and mould
  • Any pools of water that have formed
  • Any mushrooms that have sprouted in the backyard – these are particularly dangerous for children and pets

Of course, you should also inspect the internals of your home. This should include looking for:

  • Any signs of leaks or wetness from ceiling areas inside the rooms
  • Any signs of leaks or wetness within the roof space of your home
  • Any signs of leaks or wetness along skirting boards or by external doors – water can find its way in through the smallest gaps

Our team at Parrish Plumbing is always available to offer advice and ready to dispatch one of our qualified plumbing technicians to support you. Above all else, don’t put yourself at risk when checking your home after a storm or major rainfall. The ground is likely to be slippery, trees may be unstable, roofing and guttering can be heavy and hazardous. If in doubt, just give our team a call.

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