Total Home Inspections News

1 May 2022

Winter is coming! Have you completed your checklist?

As we enter the Winter months and the temperatures begin to drop, our homes require a few simple maintenance tasks to ensure that they are ready for the seasonal changes.

Storms can hit at any time around Perth, especially during the wet Autumn and Winter months. The high winds and rain that these storms bring have the potential to cause serious damage if your home hasn’t been adequately inspected and prepared.

The most common issues that arise from storm damage are usually, damage to roofing, fencing or other structures around the home due to falling trees or branches, and water damage to ceilings from damaged roof tiles and/or gutters that are unable to cope with the volume of rain.

There are a few simple and effective preparation tips that you can complete now to minimise any potential damage from Perth’s winter storms.

Prune Overhanging Trees

Where possible, keep large tree branches clear of your home and other structures such as fencing and sheds by pruning them back regularly. Also, take note of any trees or shrubs that are growing near any power lines. These are a safety risk and could cause fires, blackouts or power surges. If there are branches close to power lines do not try to prune these yourself! Contact your local council or Western Power to seek advice or hire a professional tree removalist.

Secure Items in Your Yard

Keep an eye out for strong wind warnings and make sure any loose objects in your yard, such as garden furniture, are secured so they won’t be blown around. This includes trampolines which have been known to end up in powerlines during high wind events.

Check Roofs and Tiles

Before Winter and after any large storms, if possible, you should inspect your roof for any damage and/or any loose or missing tiles which would cause a leak during the next downpour. Also, check all your valleys and flashings for any signs of 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 anywhere leaks can occur – at seams, fasteners, ridge caps, ridge vents, flashings, valley gutters and skylights.

Search for Roof Leaks

A great time to check for potential roof leaks is during a downpour. Climb into the roof space with a bright torch and look for any leaks around chimneys, vents or skylights. Any significant leaks will eventually be visible on the underside of the ceilings where water stains will appear. If any leaks are found, you’ll need to acquire the services of a handyman if there are just a few tiles to repair or a roofing repair specialist for a larger sections.

Clean out Gutters

Once the Autumn leaves have fallen, it’s time to get up on the roof and remove them and any other debris from your gutters. Once all debris is removed make sure to hose the gutters out to ensure the water flows freely through the downpipes. This also give you the opportunity to spot any leaks along the guttering.

Service Chimneys

Chimneys are an amazing feature to have in your home during a cold Winter, but if they are not correctly maintained, they can cause a lot of problems. Burning wood releases volatile gases that cool and condense on the inside of the chimney, forming sticky, smelly, highly flammable residue. If you allow enough soot to build up, you run the risk of a chimney fire. You should also ensure the chimney is capped with screening to keep rodents out of your home.

Check smoke alarms

Only a working smoke alarm can provide you with safety and you need to ensure it is maintained to protect the occupants of your home. Just like all electrical items, smoke alarms do have a limited lifespan. According to WA’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services, all smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years. During the lifespan of a smoke alarm, it can become compromised with dust, insects, contaminants or electrical corrosion, making its efficiency less reliable.