By Emsie Martin
The coming rainy season could be an expensive one if you do not do the necessary repairs and adjustments in time. According to a statement issued by Virseker the number of claims submitted by house owners during the rainy season – from October to March – could increase by as much as 97% as compared to other seasons.
“Water, hail and lightning damage or blown over trees are typically the main culprits. Something that could have been prevented by good, proactive inspections and maintenance,” says Ricardo Coetzee, spokesperson of Virseker.
Virseker offers the following tips for a thorough rainy season inspection:
- Leaves hazard: Regularly clean all gutters and eaves – leaves and other plant residue can prevent effective water drainage away from the roof.
- Roofsmart: Inspect the roof and look out for tiles that have shifted, worn waterproofing, parts of thatched roofs that are no longer tightly bound, etc. Also inspect the underside of your roof to make sure that it seals tightly. No sunlight should be visible because if sunlight can come in, so can water.
- Take care of cracks:Check all door frames and window sashes, especially those made of wood, as well as walls, floors and foundations for cracks where water can seep in.
- Pain in a drain:Make sure that all drainage ditches, pipes and holes are in a good condition and look out for water build-up when it rains. Water build-up in your stand or around your house can cause rising damp and foundation problems. Regularly use (preferably environment-friendly) cleaners, even if there are no drainage problems.
- Peeling paint, big flop:Look out for peeling paint. Paint protects your house against water just as varnish protects wood. When you paint your house, include a good sealant.
- Pressure test:The pressure of strong wind, heavy hail or excess water can easily cause trees and structures to give way. Branches, garden furniture and tools or parts of structures that come loose can also turn into deadly projectiles. Thoroughly check items exposed to the elements and immediately eliminate risks.
- Reinforcements:If you live in an area that is prone to floods or other extreme weather conditions your own supply of sandbags and other reinforcements is a good idea.
- Avoid the shock:Install wall plugs that can protect appliances against power surges caused by lightning.
- Be on the lookout:Be on the lookout for safety risks close to your house, such as poor drainage, cracked structures and landslides and inform the authorities immediately.
“Perhaps it’s a bother, but proactive inspections and repairs can in the end spare you a small fortune. But it is always wise to have comprehensive home-owner’s cover for in case misfortune comes your way,” says Ricardo Coetzee.
Just because your house withstood the previous rainy season well it does not mean that everything is still hunky-dory. Rather take the trouble to thoroughly check everything once more.
The Solidarity Guild for financial professions is a community focused on bringing together professional people who offer services in the financial industry, to give young people an opportunity in the profession, and to be the watchdog that tackles problems in the profession with workable solutions. The Occupational Guild for Financial Practitioners offers all members a network through which members can contact one another, share the best practices and do business. Do visit https://gildes.solidariteit.co.za/finansies/.
Virseker is a product of Auto & General Insurance, an authorised non-life financial services provider (FSP licence number: 16354.