Australia is no stranger to destructive cyclones, and surely everyone still remembers the amount of damage the category 5 cyclone “Marcia” dealt back in 2015, and cyclone Yasi in 2011. Not only do cyclones deal millions worth of damage to infrastructure and vegetation, but they can also endanger your family, which is why it’s only prudent for homeowners to make cyclone-proof their homes to mitigate the damage and improve household resilience.
As such, we’ll be taking a look at the essential cyclone-proofing tips to help your family and your house prepare for Australia’s harsh cyclone season.
#1 Securing the Roof
Your roof is arguably the most important part of your home in terms of cyclone protection as it shields your family against the elements, and is often the part of your house that takes the most beating during a cyclone. That said, it’s important that your roof is already well-maintained and reinforced to withstand heavy torrential rain, strong winds, and the debris that they carry with them way before cyclone season starts. You may have to replace your roof with more wind-resistant material and design for better protection against the incoming cyclones. It’s also recommended that you install cyclone straps to improve your roof’s resistance against high winds further.
#2 Protecting Your Doors and Windows
Strong winds and rain can wear down or even break your doors and windows. For better protection against the elements, you’ll want to consider switching out your door frame for metal door jambs which are more durable and water-resistant than wooden ones — not to mention more stylish and modern. To prevent water from seeping through the gaps underneath your door, you’ll also want to install or replace weather-stripping. And lastly, as for your windows, make sure to install cyclone shutters to prevent the glass from being broken by debris thrown around by strong winds during the cyclone.
#3 Maintain Your Gutters and Downspouts
Your roof’s rain gutters and downspouts help prevent flooding by diverting rainwater away from your home. However, they only work if they’re regularly cleaned and maintained, and are free from debris that may be blocking them.
As an added level of security against flooding, your lawn should be properly ‘graded’ (or sloped) to facilitate the redirection of rain and floodwater away from your house; proper lawn grading ensures that no puddles are formed near your home, and that floodwater is safely and efficiently diverted towards the municipal drainage or sewage system.
#5 Preventive Pruning
Lastly, if you have trees in your property, make sure that they undergo pruning. Most homeowners overlook the risk of tree branches getting snapped off by strong winds which can damage their homes. It would be best to call your local tree care, or landscaping company to do it safely and properly or at least call your local government to ensure that your tree pruning (or removal, if needed) is done legally if you prefer doing it on your own.
The Bottom Line
Cyclone-proofing your house won’t only protect your home from storm damage and ensure your family’s safety during the storm, but it also saves you from having to deal with the stress and costs of repairs. Lastly, as a parting tip, try to check your local government to see if they can provide financial aid/funding to improve home resiliency against cyclones, like the ones they offer in Queensland.