Quick pointers to help prepare your home for the summer rains
Johannesburg is notoriously infamous for its frequent heavy, summer thunderstorms, this continuous hard rain can lead to all sorts of problems in and around your home if you are not prepared for it.
If your home has been relatively problem-free during the dry season, you will need to do a THOROUGH all-round check and some maintenance to ensure it stays that way during the rainy season.
By following some simple steps, you should have a problem-free rainy season:
1. De-clutter Your Gutters
- Clean out all the leaves, debris and other dirt trapped in your gutters by hand.
- Once done, put a hose-pipe onto the roof and allow the water from it to run into the gutters.
- Walk around the house and make sure that water runs through the gutter as it should, check if any of the gutters are leaking or overflowing.
- If there are leaks, then do what you can to seal them up – ask your local hardware store for advice on what would be appropriate to use for this.
- If you notice that the gutter is overflowing or not flowing, check the down pipes for blockages or dents (NOTE: The gutters could be overflowing because the angle of the downpipe is not correct and the water is running away from the downpipe. You would need to get a plumber in to sort this out for you.)
2. Round and Round Your House
- First of all make sure that your downpipes feed the water away from your house – this should be checked in previous point. If the water is feeding towards the house, you can get concrete ‘channels’ from any hardware store to guide the water in whatever direction you want it to go.
- If you have flower beds along the walls of your home, be sure to dig drainage channels into the edges of the flower beds every metre or so – this will prevent the beds from flooding during heavy downpours.
- If the INTERIOR walls, in the house, behind the flower beds show any sign of damp, do not hesitate to remove the flower beds and seal up the area with concrete – with the constant downpour, it is difficult to assess how long it might take the ground or walls to dry, which increases the chance of the damp causing damage.
*** Suggestion: You can always replace the beds with flower pots to make the area more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
- Wooden window frames, doors and doorframes should be sanded down and resealed or oiled if needed. Wood is very easily destroyed by excessive water – you’ll notice on occasion after heavy rain your doors might become stuck and return to normal a few days later, this is due to all the water that they have absorbed.
- If your home is below street level or on a slope, ensure that all your outdoor drains are clear of any debris.
Check that all outdoor lighting and plug sockets are in good condition – no wiring or electrical cables should be exposed.
*** Suggestion: When you see a big storm is on the way empty some water out of your pool so it won’t overflow. The chlorinated water can cause damage to the garden surrounding it.
3. Way Up There
- If you’re feeling up to the task, checking your roof for damage or leaks is a good idea
- If you have a tiled roof, check that none of the tiles are loose – if the wind has caused tiles to shift, they will leave open gaps for water to leak through
- If any of the tiles are damaged or dented, they should be replaced with new ones
- The apex of the roof should also be well sealed – contact your local hardware store to find out the correct roof sealer needed to reseal your roof if required.
- If you have a flat roof, ensure that it is well sealed and that the flushing along the wall is well secured.
If this all seems a little bit daunting to you, you could always hire a professional, to take care of it for you.