Water is hugely damaging to homes. From minor leaks to major flooding, water can destroy walls, flooring, and valuables. Staying vigilant to prevent water intrusion helps homeowners avoid expensive repairs. Implementing smart strategies to divert water away from the home is one of the best ways homeowners can prevent water damage.
Inspect and Repair Roofs
A compromised roof is one of the leading causes of water damage. Homeowners should inspect roofs at least twice per year – in spring and fall. Look for damaged, loose, or missing shingles that allow water to penetrate beneath. Areas around vents, skylights and chimneys tend to be vulnerable points.
Use roofing cement to secure loose shingles. Replace missing shingles with ones that match. Call in a roofer immediately for more significant damage like broken or slipping roof sheathing. Delaying repairs leads to interior damage.
Maintain Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are the first line of defense in diverting water away from homes. But when they become clogged with leaves and debris, they can’t do their job. Water overflows and soils foundation walls.
Clean gutters at least twice per year – spring and fall. Use a trowel to scoop out debris. A garden hose nozzle on a spray setting helps blast out compacted leaves.
Consider installing gutter guards. The guards fit over gutters to prevent most debris from entering while still allowing water flow. According to Los Angeles gutter installation experts at AD Green Gutters and Screens, guards vastly reduce gutter maintenance.
Make sure downspouts are clear and secured to the home. Add extensions to take water several feet away from the foundation. Replace leaking or damaged gutters promptly.
Address Grading and Drainage Issues
Improper grading causes water to pool and settle around foundations. This leads to moisture seeping into basements and crawlspaces. Make sure ground around foundations slopes away at least 6 inches over the first 10 feet. Fill in low spots with dirt. For more significant grading issues, have a landscaper regrade around the home.
Sometimes the easiest solution to foundation flooding is redirecting downspouts away from problem areas. Use elbow fittings to angle downspouts away from pooling zones. Splash blocks also help spread water so that it percolates into soil rather than pooling.
Consider running downspouts underground to drain water completely away from the home into a drywell or municipal storm drain system.
Seal Foundations and Cracks
Unsealed foundations, cracks and openings also provide access for water. Seal foundations with waterproof compounds, and fill cracks wider than 1⁄4 inch with caulk or expansion foam. Also look for gaps around windows, doors, pipes, and wires as these let water penetrate the exterior envelope. Caulk, foam, or weatherstrip gaps to create a water-tight seal.
Upgrade Sump Pumps
Basement flooding often happens when sump pumps fail. Homeowners should install backup sump pumps with battery or water power. Backup units kick in when primary electric units malfunction.
Test sump pumps monthly by pouring water into the sump basin and install new pumps every 10 years before they wear out and fail. Make sure the pumps drain away from the home’s foundation walls.
Preventing water damage to a home requires vigilance, but it pays dividends through reduced repair costs and improved home value. Prioritizing inspections, promptly addressing issues, and using quality materials means homeowners can protect against water intrusion.
Implement preventative strategies before damage occurs. Stay proactive with maintenance and upgrades. Address minor issues before they become major headaches.
Homeowners willing to put in the effort will be rewarded with drier, safer homes. Preventing water damage takes work, but the payoff of avoiding expensive repairs makes the effort worthwhile. Protect your most valuable investment with smart preventative action against water damage.