There are few things as catastrophic, costly, time consuming, or downright frustrating for a homeowner than water damage. When water enters your home, it will almost certainly cause damage, whether it is through the growth of mold or the compromising of walls and ceilings. Fortunately, there are a lot of steps you can and should take to help protect your home against water damage. Here are eight key things that every homeowner needs to do to make sure that water doesn’t damage your home and your home is protected.
So many homeowners forgo waterproofing their basement with catastrophic results. Your basement is often the first line of defense against flooding, especially when groundwater is surging up through your pipes in the event of a drainage overflow back into your home. Waterproofing your basement is a great way to keep water out. And even if water is insistent on coming in, at the very least you will be able to prevent the worst damage from occurring. With a combination of exterior drainage systems, waterproofing the foundation from the outside or installing a trench drain underground, you can ensure that your basement is fully prepared for flooding.
Too many homeowners overlook cleaning their gutters, and then wonder why they get rain damage every time there is a storm. Your gutters can’t work properly if they are clogged, blocked, and full of debris. Your gutters are designed to encourage the flow of water along them towards a drain, and this works as a great system when there is enough room in your gutters for the volume of water that is falling into them. But when your gutters are clogged and full of gunk that prevents the free flow of water towards the drain, gutters overflow and leak water over the edge to the exact areas that the gutter is designed to protect. So do yourself and your house a favor and clean your gutters regularly and thoroughly. You will be amazed how much better your gutters can handle rain afterwards.
This one should be a basic no brainer, but if your roof is damaged, then you are in a very compromised position for water damage. If there are holes or leaks in your roof, then water has a direct entry way into your home, dripping from the ceilings, collapsing ceilings, and filling your home with water. Repair all roof damage to your home as soon as you know that it is there and make sure you get it repaired thoroughly. Damage to your roof is the easiest way that water can enter and damage the rest of your home.
The asphalt paving that makes up your driveway, porch, and front walkways is also susceptible to water damage, and you need to do the proper maintenance on your paving to ensure that its wall remains damage free. Temperature variations can cause your paving to expand and crack. Once cracked, water can cause the cracks to expand and deepen, leaving you with harder to repair paving. Make sure that you sealcoat your asphalt paving yearly to ensure that you have the best seal on it possible, and that you repair any damage to your paving as soon as you notice it. The longer you let it sit, the worse the damage will get.
The sump pump is an appliance that is your final wall of defense against water pooling into your basement or bottom floor in a flooding situation. Sump pumps are designed to activate when draining is not occurring properly, and pumps water out of your home and into your yard. Sump pumps are often set to turn on automatically when they are needed, which means they spend most of their life span off and waiting. This can lead to issues where you won’t notice an issue with your sump pump until you need it, and by then it is too late to repair. Make sure that you are cleaning your sump once a year, it is connected to power, the inlet screen is cleaned, and that when you dump a bucket into the sump the float rises and the pump activates.
The water main is the most important water pipe that runs through your house. All the water that comes to your house goes through the water main and is then distributed around to the appliances and pipes that need it. Knowing where your water main is will help you shut it off in the event of a pipe bursting or leak so that you can stop water from coming to your home. Make sure you know where your water main shutoff is in your home so that when disaster strikes, you are ready to respond.
Another great thing you can do is alert yourself at the earliest possible time that your home is experiencing some sort of leak. A water detector can sense low amounts of moisture and then set off an alarm to let you know when it has been exposed to water. Installing these items near water appliances like washing machines, toilets, water heaters, and sump pumps can help you detect slow or small leaks fast, and get them fixed before they lead to worse issues like mold.
Your landscaping plays a large role in your house’s ability to handle water. There are two major ways that your landscape plays into your water. First, your trees and shrubs have roots that can entangle underground water pipes and cause issues. Tree roots are strong, and if they wrap around your water lines and continue to grow, they can burst pipes. Keep trees away from your water lines. The second way plants and landscaping help prevent water damage is their ability to absorb water. Keeping a luscious and green landscape can keep water absorbed and not running off and into your home.
Nobody likes dealing with water damage; it is costly, annoying, and frustrating. But luckily, you don’t have to wait for damage to strike to do something about it. Follow these eight tips to ensure that you are protecting your home against the worst of water damage.
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