Your gutters play an integral role at your home. They direct water away from your house to prevent it from pooling and getting inside. Storms are common here in Australia, and you want to be sure you are covered if your gutters are damaged from a weather event that is out of your control. Here is what you need to know.
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Don’t make the mistake of assuming you’ll be covered
Many assume that if there is an issue with their home and they have home insurance, they’ll automatically be covered, but this is not the case. It’s important you have a full understanding of what you are and are not covered for under your policy. In most instances, insurance companies will cover damage sustained solely by storms, however, if your gutters were not maintained and their poor condition added to the damage, they may not cover you. As a homeowner, you are responsible for maintaining your gutters regularly. They must be free of dirt and debris to work properly. Failing to do so can lead to damage not only to your gutters but your property also.
What insurance assessors are looking for
Insurance assessors are looking for damage that could have been prevented or pre-existing damage when assessing your property. They will try and identify whether the storm caused the damage to your gutters or if they were already damaged. With storms usually comes a heavy downpour of rain. If your gutters are clogged and water seeps into your home and causes damage, the likelihood of you been covered is slim as it could have been avoided if proper care were taken of the gutters. If the assessor determines that your gutters were damaged by a storm, the insurance company will cover the expenses related to fixing the affected area. They won’t replace the whole thing if it’s intact and in proper working condition.
Other reasons you may not be covered
Not hiring a trade professional to install or repair your gutters – It’s a high probability that you won’t be covered if you have hired someone who is not a licenced contractor, and the work is substandard.
Inferior workmanship – The same applies if the original design is faulty and doesn’t meet Queensland Building Standards or you have attempted to repair the gutters using the wrong technique and/or materials.
How to prevent damage to your gutters during storms
For gutters to do their job properly, they need to be maintained. Just as important as cleaning the gutters is inspecting them for damage. Here are some easy ways to keep your gutters in tip-top condition:
Ensure they are attached properly
Make sure your gutters are attached securely and there aren’t any loose areas. Loose guttering can lead to an array of issues. It can completely detach in a storm if it’s not on entirely and all the water that would normally go down them will go onto the exterior of your home and the ground surrounding it. This water can get into the house and can cause issues with your foundation over time.
Clean them out often
The simplest way to keep your gutters in good working condition is by cleaning them out often. It doesn’t take long for gutters to fill with dirt, leaves and other contaminants. If they are clogged and your area experiences heavy rain caused by a storm, the water can pool in your gutters. The extra weight can cause them to detach. Not only that, but stagnant water is also the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. We recommend cleaning your gutters every 12 months at the minimum and more often if you have large trees around your home.
Keep an eye out for areas of deterioration
When you are routinely cleaning out your gutters, this is a good opportunity to check for areas that may be rusty, broken or compromised in any way. Seeing these areas quickly will prevent them from worsening and causing significant damage to your home when a storm hits.
What your insurance should cover
- Hail damage
- Rain/water damage
- Fallen tree damage
- Cyclone damage
Why insurance for your gutters is so important
Storms can cause huge problems for your home that can be extremely expensive to fix. If you don’t have insurance, you could be out of pocket for the repairs. It’s easy to think the chances of a storm causing significant damage to your home is unlikely, however, they are unpredictable and can happen anywhere and at any time. It is simply not worth the risk of getting caught out in an already stressful time.
Hire a professional gutter cleaner
Clearing out your gutters can be a messy and time-consuming job. To ensure your gutters are free from debris and don’t have any areas of damage, it pays to hire a professional gutter cleaner. They can assess your gutters and alert you to issues that you should follow up on. Most use a vacuum device to suck up contaminants rather than a pressure cleaning them. This prevents the contents of your gutters from ending up through your gardens and all over your home. Here at Global Vac Gutter Cleaning, we use the latest technology to give your gutters a superior clean to ensure they are storm proof. Contact us today for a free quote.