Roofs and gutters are a gateway for water getting into your home. Ironically, both are designed to prevent internal or external water damage. When you consider this, the importance of good design followed up with frequent maintenance, becomes much clearer. The potential of roof or gutter damage due to a storm is not something you should ever take lightly. During wet season, your home is constantly at the mercy of strong winds and rain. If your roof and gutters are in disrepair, or too close to larger structures or trees, there is every chance that once the storm settles you will have to deal with the avoidable cost of repairs. Those costs, incidentally, will far exceed what it would take to carry out some essential maintenance. Remember – prevention is the best medicine.
For new builds, it is essential that your roof is designed with the environment in mind. For instance, building a home with a flat roof in Victoria is not recommended. Flat roofs are not typically designed to handle large amounts of water or debris from storms. The pitch of your roof should allow water to easily run off, without pooling in any areas of the roof surface. Everything, down to the aerodynamics of your roof design is important. Aerodynamic roofs reduce the impact of strong wind, providing your home with added protection in a storm. You should also research the best materials for storm resistance, suitable for the type of weather you typically experience in your area.
Don’t leave it until the last minute to check your roof for problems. Seasons are unpredictable, so a storm could easily catch you off guard and cause further damage to your roof. Check for damaged slates or tiles, and ensure that any joints or weather protection are well sealed. This will prevent heavy rain from seeping into your home. If you don’t take these preventative steps, your entire roof could collapse causing untold damage. Another thing to consider, in respect to roof maintenance, is ensuring that it the roof doesn’t fall foul of outside forces. Trees, especially, pose a threat to your roof during a storm. If there are tall trees close to your home, you may want to consider cutting them down or securing them in some way. Protecting your home from storm damage, unfortunately, sometimes requires sacrifices.
Like your roof, your guttering design needs to take account of seasonal weather conditions. There should be adequate drainage for storm conditions, as well as protection from debris. Your guttering is no use to you if leaves and debris blocks water from escaping. A great way to ensure that doesn’t happen is a gutter guard. The guard prevents debris from getting into the guttering, while still allowing water to flow freely into the downspout. An angled guard is better for preventing gutter damage, as the rain will actually help prevent debris from gathering on top of the guard.
Guttering only works effectively so long as it is properly maintained. Check guttering regularly, to ensure that it is able to do the job for which it was designed. The very first thing you need to do is check that the guttering is firmly attached. Loose guttering will allow water to damage the fascia and external structure of your home. You also run the risk of the guttering being ripped from its holding during a strong storm. Damage also defeats the purpose of having gutters in the first place. So unless you have been considering adding an outdoor shower, make sure you deal with your gutter damage.
Finally – moving on to the easiest fix of all – make sure your gutters are clean. It takes no time at all to clean out accumulated debris from your guttering, and it will definitely save you some stress after a storm. On a related note, it is worth keeping in mind that building a house raised on stilts or stumps will greatly reduce the chances of flood damage from a storm. In the event that you have done everything possible to avoid guttering damage and still end up with a mini waterfall coming from your roof, the elevation will give you an added layer of protection from rising flood waters.