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Building maintenance during the Rainy Season

Posted by PPS Short-Term Insurance on Nov 25, 2021 7:45:00 AM
PPS Short-Term Insurance

Building Maintenance during the rainy seasons - PPS Blog

Summer is a beautiful time that comes with refreshing rains, but only if your property is well maintained.

Summer is here, and along with it, rain. Rain is great for gardens and that refreshing summer quality, but it has a downside as well. Torrential rains and winds can cause costly damage to your property. Most buildings can resist torrential rains, but if you do not maintain them, the rain will find its way into crevices and other openings to create problems. Damage from rain can lead to costly repairs and health complications, from mould to moisture.

You may have a strong building, but the South African climate is changing as part of global warming. That means your building will face more severe weather storms that are beyond its initial design.

Despite what the finance industry says, your home or business building has more value than a calculator can add up. Belongings like furniture, jewellery, wall hangings, antique pieces and appliances in your home or the fittings, office machinery and stock in your business have more value than rand amounts. Rather than going through the emotional toll of watching your items get destroyed or trying to replace them, you can avoid it by planning ahead.

Maintenance check before the rainy season

Prevention has a lower emotional and financial cost, so you will save yourself a lot of anguish if you can maintain your property and prepare it for adverse weather.

The roof is the most exposed part of your property, and it deals with constant bombardment from the heat, rain and any falling items, to keep you safe indoors. Over time, it will take a beating and show its age. You need to check for any possible cracks, holes or rusty spots on your roof.

Roof tiles are a nice, durable design feature, but they can loosen up, crack, go missing or curl over time and compromise your roof's ability to keep all rain out. If roof tiles fail to do their job, water can seep into your home, causing damage to walls, ceilings and floors. 

Check your ceiling for water rings, mould, water or ceiling discolouration. Those are sure signs that water is seeping into your house and causing damage. Dampness can damage wooden doors, windows, cupboards, drawers and other wood finishes.

Windows provide you with more than just a view; they protect your home or building from the elements outside. If you have broken windows or window frames, it will allow the rain to enter and compromise your furniture, fittings, walls, ceilings or floor.

The purpose of gutters and drains is to direct water away from your home. If they are blocked, then pools of water can gather on your roof and near the building structure. Not only can the pools of water cause unsightly damage, but they are also a health risk. So, you must keep gutters and drains clean and repair any damage that may have occurred.

Clean your walkways and your drainage; you should also ensure that you regularly dispose of garbage. Garbage caught in drainage is a common cause of floods.

Inspect any trees and plants around your home or building. They not only cause damage when they break off, but they can be just as damaging as they violently sway in the wind. Trim or cut any of them that may pose a risk to your home or structure. Also, ensure you clear any dead leaves and branches nearby because they make drainage difficult, and in a lightning storm, they become a fire hazard. Clear away any plant growth on your walls, too, because they can take root and widen small cracks.

Paint can protect your walls. An external waterproof paint with water sealant adds a protective layer on concrete walls. It would help to repaint metal doors and windows to prevent rusting and water from seeping through them.

Take the time to inspect your electrical system with a technician. You want your electrical wiring and sockets to be safe from possible water leaks.

When it rains, everyone looks for shelter, and that includes little critters. Be on the lookout for vermin, termites and ants that can destroy furniture or cause health hazards. Call a professional exterminator to protect your space from critters.

When it rains, put entry mats at the doorway so people can wipe their feet, along with a place to hang umbrellas and raincoats. Using these items, you can avoid mud and water trailing through your home or business. Businesses should display wet floor signs and regularly mop up wet areas to prevent accidents due to slippery floors.

If you are in a flood-prone area, then prepare for it with an emergency kit, candles, a flashlight, and batteries. They will come in handy in dire situations.

Policy maintenance before the rainy season

Your property is not the only thing that needs regular maintenance and improvements. Your short-term insurance policy is a flexible instrument that can help you mitigate risk and save you money.

As you go through your policy, ensure that your home or building has adequate coverage. If you have made any improvements on the house or building, add them to your coverage; if not, you risk losing everything you built. Additionally, the difference between the replacement value at the time you bought the structure and the current replacement value will determine whether you can cater to inflationary costs or new coding. Conduct regular evaluations to make sure that you are not under-insured.

Sit down with your insurance provider and understand your coverage. 

The type of deductible (excess)  on your policy matters. Is it a one-event or per-section deductible? You need to fully understand the impact of a excess in the event of multiple properties being affected.

To plan ahead, you will need to find a good remediation contractor; they specialise in repairs after storms, floods and other disasters. Finding and hiring one during a crisis will be difficult; having one on standby can save you time and money in the future. Some businesses need to comply with environmental, health and other regulations regarding their structure (especially those located near water bodies), so partner with contractors that can help you comply with clean-up efforts or other regulated activities as well.

As a home insurance or business insurance policyholder, you must understand that coverage is for sudden and unexpected events, not gradual deterioration or lack of maintenance. It is the policyholder’s responsibility to keep the house in an insurable condition. Even with underinsured incidents, the inconvenience and emotional toll of dealing with the damage and destruction of the rains and storms can be daunting. Keep your home well-maintained, and you will save yourself from future anguish and claims.

  • PPS Short-Term Insurance members with qualifying PPS life risk products receive Profit-Share allocation for their personal lines PPS home insurance. Members share in the profit and the loss of PPS and past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.
  • PPS Short-Term Insurance is a licensed Insurer and authorised Financial Services Provider. 
  • Any information contained herein is not intended as, nor does it constitute financial advice.

Topics: insurance insights