With storm season well and truly here, it’s a good time to check your fence is secure.

Last month’s storm resulted in more than 4000 storm damage claims, making it the fourth biggest storm event in our history. Fifty six per cent of these involved fence damage.

That’s a lot of fences!

Damaged fences are a common problem for our members in the winter months. In the past three winters, fence damage has contributed to 42 per cent of storm damage claims in May through to July.

These storms can damage the structural integrity of your fences and gates. High winds, heavy rains, flash floods and hail can cause damage to your home and your property, and if left unchecked this damage can lead to further, more expensive issues.

Pools of water sitting at the base of your fence posts can soften the ground which can pose a big risk. Over time if stagnant water isn’t addressed it can also cause timber posts to rot or metal posts to rust. If you notice any rot or rust on the posts it could be time to replace your fencing, and, if so, it’s best to opt for aluminium or stainless steel fencing as they are rust-proof and more durable.

Our notoriously strong winds can make fencing sway and move the earth at the base of posts, causing instability.

So we recommend looking for bases that have become unstable, making sure the earth is tightly packed around them.

Another way to avoid fence damage is to check for cracks and breaks that can occur during a storm and replace any damaged slats.

Damaged or rusting screws and hinges are another issue. Misalignments from dropped screws and hinges can affect the integrity of your fence or gates and their functionality. When replacing them, make sure to find stainless steel screws and hinges to prevent similar problems in the future.

With damage to buildings also contributing to 56 per cent of RAC’s storm damage claims during winter, we highly recommend taking preventative action before the next one approaches.

It’s a good idea to do a structural safety check or have a professional inspect your fences and property so there are no surprises this winter.

For more information and tips visit http://rac.com.au/insurance/tips/fact-sheets/storm-preparation.

20160609 Fence in storm