5 ways to maintain your home this summer
Is your property properly protected? Along with languid days, backyard cricket and barbecues, summer can bring some dangers to Aussie homes. Here are some of the ways to protect yours.
Whether you’re finishing up the spring cleaning or planning on doing some home projects over the coming months, we’ve thought of a few jobs you may want to add to the to-do list.
Ensure your home is safe and secure in the lead up to our unpredictable Aussie summer by checking off these maintenance to-dos.
- Add fire protections to your home
Summer comes with an added fire risk in Australia, so make sure your home is protected inside and out.
Keep all your fire safety equipment stocked and up-to-date.
Start by testing your fire alarms and renew all the batteries if they haven’t been changed in a while. Keep in mind that if you haven’t updated your smoke alarms in a decade, there’s also a good chance they’re out of date.
Similarly, consider stocking fire blankets and extinguishers around the home in the event of any small inside fires.
- Tend to your roof
From leaks to fire hazards, your roof can be the source of a number of issues during summer.
According to the SES Stormsafe guide, homeowners should engage a qualified roof specialist to inspect their roof every 5-7 years.
The specialist will observe if there are any damaged tiles to fix or replace, as well as give it a good clean.
While they’re there, they can clear leaf litter and debris from your gutters and drain pipes and install gutter guards to keep leaves at bay. Leaf litter can be a huge risk during bushfire season.
- Review your home and contents insurance
Home maintenance doesn’t always come in the form of hard yakka. Protecting your property can also mean having the right insurance.
When it comes to protections that will help in summer, check your policy for a few key features:
- What is the sum insured amount for building and contents, and is this up-to-date and adequate? Remember, when calculating the insured amount, you want to consider how much it would cost to replace the insured items – not how much you bought them for. Use online calculators to help you estimate.
- Does your policy have gap cover? For example, if you have to rebuild your home after an insured event, and the cost of rebuilding exceeds your insurance level, you may be able to access gap cover to assist with that added cost.
- Does your policy cover power surges?
- Protect your home from lightning strikes
Summer can also be a significant time for electrical storms. Lightning strikes can cause fires, damage property and wreak havoc on your wiring and electronics.
It’s a good time to stock up on quality surge protection devices. While you may have heard of surge protection power boards, you may want to install surge protection in your wiring for greater safety and security. This needs to be done by a qualified electrician.
It’s also worth checking whether your insurance policy covers surges, and under what circumstances. While some policies protect from surges caused by lightning, for instance, they may not protect from surges rooted in other means.
- Patch any holes in your building
Not figuratively, but literally. From roof leaks to holes in the fly screen, you’ll want to get those holes sorted as soon as possible before summer hits to weather-proof your home from extreme heat or summer storms.
Consider these chores to tide you over pre-summer:
- Fix holes in your roof. Summer is tropical in Australia and it’s a La Niña year! Don’t let leaks ruin your home.
- Caulk any cracks or gaps, especially around windows and door frames. You don’t want the heat to seep when you’re trying to escape a 40-degree day.
- Summer means the mosquitos are out in full force! Patch the fly screens to keep the critters out.