There’s no doubt that anyone living on the east coast near Sydney and up towards Queensland are suffering during what has been the wettest summer and autumn that I’ve ever experienced in the 17 years of living in Australia. Our homes are probably suffering a little, some more than others depending on the age and upkeep. Over the past few months, I’ve been more and more privy to how this weather is affecting our home, where my builders are working hard to get on top of issues for our clients whilst we are involved in renovating the rest of the home. These are the main issues that we are seeing, and some simple things we can all do to try and keep on top of the maintenance:
This is the most common problem that we are seeing at the moment. If you are noticing damp patches in your ceiling, then for sure you have issues with your roof. However there could be several reasons why. Is the patch is at the edges/in the corners of a room? this could be blocked guttering over-flowing. First thing to do is to clear your gutters, if they are backed up with leaves and debris then this will obstruct water flow.
If this doesn’t resolve the issue it’s likely to be your roof failing, cracked tiles, water penetrating fixings in your metal roof, it’s worth calling in the experts for these sorts of issues. Often it can be an easy fix.
We don’t think about checking the integrity of our gutters and downpipes, but it’s important to note if they are rusting through or perhaps have come away from the wall/eaves. Leaks in these areas can cause damp at the side of your walls to your home and start penetrating through. You may see mold growth on walls, or rising damp. Always good on a rainy day to take a walk around your home and ensure that the water if flowing away as it should. Again, calling in a good roof plumber to go over any issues and do a thorough check of your set up is a great idea. You might not have enough downpipes to cope with the amount of roof you have, or some may be failing, and you just didn’t realise.
Sub floor issues
Less common but can still be an issue. Are your floors damp? If you have crawl space under the house, you might have water pooling causing issues. Or worse if you have a concrete slab and your floors seem to be collecting water you may have a problem with the concrete. This is definitely something to call a general builder about. Not attending to an issue like this could cause all sorts of issues from termite damage, to timber rot or concrete cancer.
This is a problem I had in my home. We inherited old windows. Almost every window at the back of the house had issues. Water would find it’s way in through the frames and then trickle into the walls and appear as a leak somewhere else. As soon as we replaced the rotten timber windows the leaks stopped. Keep your windows well maintained. If they are timber paint the externals regularly, oil the openings, and always open and close your windows after heavy rain to let any trapped water escape.
Drainage issues (around the home and in bathrooms)
Again, this is a problem that I have to deal with every 18 months. Often, we notice a bit of a back up when emptying the pool or the water isn’t draining well from the bath. Most of the time this is down to tree roots in your drainage pipes. I have a fabulous plumber out every 18 months to clear ours. You can reseal your pipes if needed but that could be a big job depending on what you have going on at the surface such as garden lawns, pathways etc.
The key message here is maintain your home well. Clear gutters, keep an eye on drains, stay on top of care for your windows. If you do this then your home will be better positioned to weather these storms that seem to be more and more frequent these days.