storm home

Living in Canberra, we’re well-acquainted with the unpredictable nature of the weather. From scorching summer sun to powerful storm surges and harsh wind pressure, our homes need to be prepared to withstand various types of extreme weather. 

While Mother Nature’s power is undeniable, proactive measures can significantly reduce the risk of storm damage to roof trusses and your home’s walls and ensure the safety of your loved ones. This comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge and steps to effectively “storm-proof” your home.

The Importance of a Storm-Proof Home

Australia’s climate is known for its rapid shifts, with heavy rain, strong winds, and even hail becoming increasingly common. These conditions can wreak havoc on homes, leading to:

  • Water damage: Leaky roofs, overflowing gutters, and flooding caused by overwhelmed drainage systems can damage internal structures, valuable possessions, and foundational integrity.
  • Structural damage: High winds can cause roof damage, broken windows, and even fallen trees that impact your home’s exterior and, potentially, interior layout.
  • Blocked Gutters: Loose debris in gutters can cause blockages, highlighting the importance of proactive preventative measures.

Essential Steps for Protecting Your Home During Stormy Weather

Preparing your home for a downpour and windy weather requires a comprehensive approach, focusing on various crucial aspects. Here’s a breakdown of the essential steps recommended by our plumbers at Woden Valley Plumbing & Gasfitting:

1. Roof Inspection and Maintenance

The entire roof structure serves as your home’s first line of defence when a storm hits. Schedule regular inspections, preferably before bad weather season, to identify and address potential vulnerabilities. Look for:

  • Missing or loose shingles or tiles
  • Signs of wear and tear on flashing around chimneys and skylights
  • Accumulated debris, such as leaves and branches

2. Securing Windows and Doors

Installing shutters or wind-resistant windows adds a crucial layer of protection against flying debris and high winds that could shatter conventional windows and doors.

Pay close attention to the seals around windows and doors. Weather stripping or replacing worn-out seals can prevent water leaks during sustained winds and heavy rain.

3. Maintaining Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged or damaged gutters can cause significant water damage to your property. Regularly cleaning them is crucial to ensure proper water flow away from your home’s foundation. Additionally, Ensure downspouts are properly directed away from your foundation and connected to drainpipes that lead water away from the building.

4. Considering a Sump Pump

A sump pump is a vital defence mechanism against water intrusion during storms for basements or crawl spaces. The pump automatically removes excess water from these areas, preventing potential flooding and water damage.

5. Using Flood Barriers

If you live in a flood-prone area, sandbags or permanent flood prevention barriers around your property can help redirect water flow away from your home.

6. Strategic Landscaping

Regularly trim trees and shrubs around your home, especially those close to power lines or structures. This helps them better withstand winds and reduces the risk of falling branches causing damage during storms.

7. Emergency Preparedness

Be ready and plan ahead prepared for any situation by assembling an emergency kit with essentials like non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, torches, and a battery-powered radio.

Develop a clear evacuation plan with your family, identifying designated meeting points and emergency contact numbers in case of severe weather events.

Focusing on Your Roof: Protecting Your Home from High Winds & Rain

Your roof is exposed to the brunt of the elements during storms. Here are some additional strategies to ensure its peak performance and prevent leaks:

  • Invest in Waterproof Underlayments or Sealants: These are typically sheets or rolls of material installed directly below the shingles. They act as a secondary barrier, preventing water from entering your home if shingles are compromised. Common types include felt, synthetic underlayment, and self-adhering membranes.
  • Sealants: These are applied around roof penetrations like chimneys, vents, and skylights. They create a watertight seal and prevent leaks at these vulnerable points.

The Crucial Role of Gutters in Preventing Storm Flooding

Gutters are often considered the unsung heroes when storm-proofing your house. These crucial components are vital in channelling rainwater away from your roof and foundation. However, neglected or damaged gutters can quickly become your worst nightmare when there’s heavy rainfall.

  • Regular Cleaning and Maintenance: Clogged gutters with accumulated leaves, debris, and even small animals can become overwhelmed during wind and storms, leading to overflowing water that can damage your roofline and fascia boards and even seep into your foundation, causing significant structural issues.
  • Professional Assistance: If cleaning gutters feels like a daunting task, or if your gutters are located in high or difficult-to-reach areas, consider seeking professional assistance from Woden Valley Plumbing & Gasfitting. Our technicians can provide safety by cleaning and inspecting your gutters, ensuring they function optimally and keep your home safe from water damage.

Beyond the Basics: Additional Measures for Comprehensive Storm Protection

While the fundamental steps outlined above provide a strong foundation for storm-proofing your house, consider these additional measures for an extra layer of protection:

  • Schedule Regular Professional Inspections: Annual inspections by qualified plumbers, such as identifying potential problems early on before they escalate into major repairs. These inspections include:
    • Roof assessments: Checking for loose shingles, flashing issues, and signs of wear and tear.
    • Gutter and downspout evaluations: Identify any blocked drains or damage.
    • Plumbing examinations: Identifying potential weaknesses in your plumbing system that could be exacerbated during extreme weather and lead to leaks or backflow.
    • Invest in Shutters or Impact-Resistant Doors and Windows: While these options require a higher initial investment, they offer significant long-term benefits, especially in areas prone to strong winds and flying debris.
    • Stay Informed and Be Prepared: Staying updated on weather forecasts and following local advisories is crucial. This allows you to take proactive measures like securing outdoor furniture on your roof deck, closing your reinforced windows, and preparing your emergency kit.

Taking Action Today: Woden Valley Plumbing & Gasfitting is Here for You

Storm-proofing your home requires a proactive and ongoing approach. By taking action now and implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage and resist high winds, ensuring the structural integrity of your property.


Key Takeaways

  • Regular maintenance of your roof, gutters, and plumbing is crucial to prevent storm damage and ensure the safety of your home and family.
  • Replace any damaged gutters or roofing to ensure wind resistance during extreme weather.
  • Woden Valley Plumbing & Gasfitting offers a comprehensive range of services to assist you in storm-proofing your home, including inspections, cleaning, maintenance, and installation of essential protective measures.