The South African weather service says we can expect the first big rains of the Gauteng rainy season in the third week of September…

Highveld thunderstorms are a highlight for many of us signalling the start of the rainy season and the arrival of warmer days and greener scenery.

However, it also means hailstorms and possible water damage to our properties.

“Prepping your home for the rainy season is important,” says Louis Hay, head of Product & Actuarial at Standard Insurance Limited. “Your checks should run from top to bottom and include your roof, ceiling walls, floors and if you have one, your basement. It’s also wise to be 100 percent certain of what your insurance policy does and does not cover to avoid any nasty surprises.”

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

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1.     Check your roof. It’s your first line of defence

You should check your roof regularly to make sure there is no damage which could lead to leaks in your sealing or to it collapsing under torrential 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.

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, 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.

Mould is a sure sign of water damage or damp in your walls and ceiling.

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.  It also removes the risk of being electrocuted or damaging your homes electrical system.

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.

“Areas such as Gauteng are high-risk when it comes to flash floods caused by torrential rain. As a homeowner you must do everything you can to protect your home from flood damage but also have the right coverage in place to protect you if there is an unavoidable disaster,” Hay concludes.

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