Water Damage Prevention Tips

A few tips for homeowners to prevent water damage before a predicted heavy rain storm. Right now is a perfect time to work on some of these tips with dry weather, and warm temperatures:

First and foremost, it is important to remember to keep your gutters clear of debris and also that they drain away from the house. This sounds like a given but you’d be surprised how many people don’t safeguard against it.

Another good idea is to purchase some flexible black pipe from your local hardware store and attach it to your gutter down spouts so that the water will drain further away from the house. Don’t allow water to pool around your house. If you see any pooling take action immediately to fix the problem.

Whether you have a raised foundation or a cement slab this is equally important to take note of. Water is heavy, 8.33 pounds per gallon, a large pool of water around your house or near your foundation may have several hundred gallons of water in it, maybe more, maybe less. 100 gallons of water = approximately 833 pounds. The weight of this water creates high hydro-static pressure and can force its way under the foundation into your crawlspace (under house) or basement. This can cause a variety of other water damage problems. The point is, be aware of water around your home during storms and take measures to keep it out.

Another tip is to keep the tracks of your windows clean and free of debris so that they can drain properly when rain is heavy. If you have an older home routinely inspect your roof for possible leak areas. If an area needs attention, see to it quickly.

Also, if you live near large trees, keep them trimmed and check them routinely for weak limbs. During wind storms, large limbs can fall and cause serious damage to your home or even cause fatal injury.

If your home has exterior stucco or siding routinely do a quick visual inspection. Should you find any cracks near 1/8″ wide or larger have it repaired by a professional as this may affect water tightness. If your home has one of the many varieties of hardboard siding panels and you visibly notice warping or buckling, have it inspected by a siding professional as this may affect water tightness.

Another popular type of siding is “cement board”. Should you notice cracks in your cement board siding longer than 2″ in length or 1/8″ in width, have the board repaired with caulk or replaced by a professional as this may affect water tightness. These small tips can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs and the accompanying stress that goes along with it.

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