Get a builder to check structural integrity


Get a builder to check structural integrity of your house.

In tropical and subtropical climates, houses deteriorate over time because of exposure to sun, rain and winds. To avoid home deterioration and costly repairs, schedule regular inspections and maintenance.

Does your house meet current building standards? Changes to Australian Building Standards in 1981, aim to significantly reduce damage from cyclones and severe storms. In particular if your home was built before 1981, arrange a professional builder to check your building and identify ways you can increase the structural integrity of your home to withstand high winds during storms. 

No house can be classified as a storm-proof house. However, if you understand the effect of strong winds and plan ahead to maintain and protect your house, you can reduce the likelihood of it being damaged during intense winds. 

As part of your storm preparedness, arrange for a builder to assess whether the structural design meets the Queensland Building Code Appendix 4 design standard. The roof is the most vulnerable part of the house because it has to withstand strong uplift forces and current building codes stipulate improved interior tie-down standards for improved structural strength. 

If your house survived a recent severe storm, a building inspection will determine if any damages were incurred that might you more vulnerable to the next one. Engage a qualified practitioner such as a building certifier, structural engineer, architect or builder to inspect your house if you have doubts about the structural integrity. 

Ask the builder to check for rust, loose fixings, and rotten timber and termite attack. Other key components to check for wear and tear are:

  • Roof
  • Gable ends walls
  • Doors and windows
  • Garage doors
  • Water ingress areas
  • House attachments, and
  • Outdoor objects and equipment.


For most Australians, our homes are our largest financial investment. Home is where you spend a lot of your time, so make time for regular home inspections and maintenance.

Researchers at the Cyclone Testing Station, James Cook University - Townsville, found that the most common types of cyclone damage to Australian houses were:

  • Damage due to failure of rusted fasteners, connector plates, roof battens and other components
  • Damage caused by failure of rotten timbers
  • Garage doors being blown in or out
  • Roofs being blown away in whole or in part
  • Collapse of unreinforced masonry walls
  • Damage to inadequately built housing in exposed locations such as hills and sea frontages
  • Flying debris breaking doors and windows, resulting in further damage from water leakage and strong winds
  • Doors and windows blown open due to inadequate fixing to walls or inadequate locks and door sets
  • Damage to ceilings and walls due to water ingress through the roof, doors, windows, vents, etc.
  • Failure of attachments such as guttering, fascias and eaves, and
  • Damage caused by falling trees.