Wild weather in many parts of the country is a feature of Australia in the 21st. Century – prompting us to warn home-owners and home-buyers about the damage that can be caused by strong winds or heavy rain.

Readers will be familiar with the obvious damage that a storm can cause – beach erosion, hail damage, trees uprooted, fences down and roof sheeting lifted – but it’s the not-so-obvious after-effects of a severe storm that can become serious problems.

Vigilance and a clean-up around the house post-storm should be an automatic response.

Here are three to think about:

  • Gutters full of leaf litter that can prevent storm-water being discharged during the next big downpour and cause flooding in and around the house
  • Roof tiles cracked by hailstones or falling tree branches that will allow rainwater to leak into a roof space and do significant damage over time
  • Ceiling insulation that’s been dislodged by extreme draughts through a roof space and is now in contact with light fittings or electrical wiring, representing a high fire risk.

If your house has just experienced a particularly severe storm it would be wise to give it a thorough check to make sure there are no hidden hazards. If you’re planning to buy in a recently storm-affected area, make sure your pre-purchase property assessor pays particular attention to storm damage.

Finally, heavy rains mean full water tanks and a full tank on an unstable stand or on soft ground is an accident waiting to happen. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you!