How to say ‘I love you’ to your home

It could be time to start thinking about how to show your home the love it deserves. And what better time than the month of Valentine’s?

We’ve compiled a list of ways to show your home some love by making it safe to live in. Your home is most likely your largest investment, so buying it flowers just isn’t enough to be protected from life’s unexpected surprises.

Protecting against flooding

– Check with your council if your home is in a flood-prone area.

– Ensure all windows and doors are secure. Ideally there should be no gaps that will let water inside in the event of heavy rainfall.

– Seal any cracks in your foundation, windows, walls, or doorways.

– Check your gutters and downpipes are clear of leaves and debris.

– Keep electrical components and switches raised.

– Consider investing in a flood sensor and a battery-operated sump pump (to pump water outside in the event of flooding).

Protect against fire

– Mow your lawn regularly.

– Keep your gutters clear.

– Remove flammable items from decks and verandas. Store away from the property.

– Consider having pebbles or rocks in your garden, rather than flammable mulch.

– Seal sub-floors.

– Consider the integrity of your windows. Use fire shutters or toughened glass for added protection.

– Test your smoke detectors frequently.

– Inspect heaters and ensure they are well away from anything combustible.

– Change heater and air conditioning filters regularly.

– Keep the stove and oven clear of anything that could cause a fire.

– If you use a clothes dryer, remember to clean the lint filter after every load.

– Dispose of faulty electrical cords.

– Store flammable products correctly.

– Maintain the fireplace and have the chimney professionally cleaned.

Protecting against all other wild weather

– Ensure doors can be firmly secured, preferably with barrel bolts.

– Check your roof and fasten any loose tiles or sheets of metal with screws or clips.

– Assess how secure your windows are. Do you need mesh screens? Bolted shutters? Shatterproof glass? You may consider these if you live in cyclone-prone areas.

– Trim branches around your property.

– Clear gutters of leaves and debris.

– Clear your outdoor area of any items which could become airborne.

Protecting against pests and structural damages

– Thoroughly inspect your home’s floor, roof and walls for cracks and other water seepage.

– Regularly check for blocked gutters and drains inside or outside the house.

– Check your plumbing and other water system for damage, corrosion or any other issues.

– Check your appliances for leaks including washing machines and air conditioners.

– Keep your home dry by ensuring it is fully ventilated.

– Tidy up your garden to make sure it is not attracting pests like termites that can cause severe structural damage. 

– Remove any unnecessary sources of water inside and outside the house that may collect water. These are good breeding grounds for mosquitoes and attracts cockroaches.

– Ensure that your rubbish bins are covered so it will not attract flies and other bugs.

Protecting against burglary

– Ensure all windows and doors can be secured.

– Check entries to the property for weaknesses due to weather or age. Fix any issues.

– Cut back hedges, trees or vegetation that could provide cover for an intruder.

– Put away any tools, ladders or other equipment that could be used by an intruder to break into your property.

– If you have a shed or side gates, ensure they’re locked if you leave the property.

– Invest in a smart security camera to deter thieves.

– Consider putting up a ‘beware of the dog’ sign – irrespective of whether you own a furry family member or not.

– Install security sensor lights.

– The most popular items to steal include cash, laptops, jewellery, cameras, phones, wallets/handbags. Don’t leave these items lying around.

– Test your home alarm system if you have one. If you don’t, consider getting one.

Remember to check your insurance

One of the most important things you should do is check whether you’re adequately insured.

Find out if you’re covered for things like weather events, fires, and burglary, and to what extent.