Article by Mina Phillips
Whatever the weather throws at you, there are some things that you can do to protect your home.
Having your home regularly inspected for maintenance issues and repairs can save you a lot of headache down the road. Ensure pipes and plumbing are in sturdy condition and ask an insulation specialist if your home’s insulation could be improved. A lot of water damage prevention is as simple as replacing old plumbing before a burst occurs.
Flooding resulting from a natural disaster requires a much higher level of preparation and prevention. If you live in an older home or in a flood-prone area, make sure you have checked out your insurance options. Review your current insurance policy to see if flood insurance is already covered. If not, get in touch with your insurance provider.
Another simple task that will make all the difference in the event of a flood is having a survival kit prepared. Include all of the essentials here such as food, water, flashlights, a first aid kit and warm/waterproof clothing.
With the basic essentials prepared, you can now focus on making your home more resilient against flooding. Some important things to consider here include:
Choosing water-resistant materials
If timber is a common material throughout your home, consider renovating. Timber is particularly susceptible to water damage and dampness. Talk to a renovation specialist about using water resistant materials such as engineering bricks, cement or a water resistant hardwood.
Elevating your home
When discussing your renovation design with a building specialist, discuss whether elevating your home is an option. Through elevation your home could avoid a significant amount of water damage, should your area be affected by flooding. If elevation is not an option, ask your specialist about waterproof protective barriers.
Have a specialist assess your home and its predicted flood level. Once you know this, you can factor the levels of your windows, power outlets, electrical installations and gas entry points into your renovation. It will also help you to know what areas of your home need to be particularly watertight.
How to repair your home after water damage
If your home has been impacted by flooding or water damage, focus on safety above all else. Seek approval from a health and safety official before re-entering your house, making sure that all electrical work is disconnected/safe and that no damage is an immediate threat. Once approved, arrange for an inspection to be carried out and a damage report to be presented to your insurance company. Check your insurance policy to see what cover you should expect to receive.
Once any flood debris has been safely removed, do everything you can to dry out your home. Remove any soaked furniture and use any available dehumidifiers, fans and or heaters to begin the drying out process. Local disaster relief teams and/or maintenance companies may be able to help with this. Leaving your home in a damp state will make it more susceptible to mould and further damage.
Restoring and renovating after water damage
Once your home is completely dry, get in touch with a renovation specialist who is experienced in flood engineering to discuss what short and long-term solutions are possible. Repairs and renovation work might include:
- Construction work
- Insulation replacement
- Electrical rewiring
- Plumbing repairs
While it might seem a daunting process, it could be an opportunity to create a home design that is perfect for you and your family.
How much will the repairs/renovation work cost?
The short answer is that only a professional can provide you with an accurate quote after assessing the damage. However, the prices (in AUD) below provide a rough guide:
- Recladding: from $40,000+
- Reinsulating: from $10,000+
- Rewiring: from $8,000+
- New garage build: from $40,000+
- Framing replacement flooring joists: from $25 to $75 per square metre
- Flooring: From $35 per square metre
- Tiles: from $80 - $200+ per square metre
- Carpeting: from $40 - $100+ per square metre
- Vinyl: from $65 – $120+ per square metre
- Native timber flooring: from $90+ per square metre
Shipping container homes are increasingly being considered for their durability and flood-resistance. Read Why should I choose a shipping container home? to find out more.
If you would like more information on restoring or redesigning your home into a space you love, get in touch with a renovation specialist to arrange a free consultation.
For national disaster emergency assistance, visit: australia.gov.au
Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.