It may not seem like it when you’re hanging out inside as dry as a bone, but your house is actually quite vulnerable to water damage. With fall approaching, many areas of the country will soon see an increased amount of rainfall, so it’s important to make sure your home is protected.
Note: The best time to check these spots is while it’s raining or directly afterwards, so you can see the problem areas in action.
Foundation. Do a loop around your property with your eyes on the foundation. Be on the lookout for any cracks and holes. Small cracks can be ignored, but larger ones should be repaired to prevent water from seeping into your house. For details, see step #2 of Inspect Your Foundation.
Exterior Paint. Wet winters and heavy storms can be harmful to exterior paint. Do another loop around your property, this time with your eyes on your exterior paint. Look for any bubbling, peeling or cracking paint. Touch up any problem areas you see as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your siding.
Gutters. Dirt and debris can easily clog your gutters, causing rain water to backup in the gutters and damage your home. A few of the costly problems clogged gutters can create are rotted boards and windowsills as well as water leakage into your foundation and basement. Make sure to clear gutters of all leaves and other debris regularly so you’re safe the next time rain is in the forecast. To learn how, read: Gutter Cleaning.
Downspouts. Check your downspouts while it’s raining to see exactly where they’re dumping water. If water is pooling less than five feet away from your house, redirect it with gutter extensions to prevent water damage to your home. These can be found at your local hardware store for $10-$50 depending on their length.
Basement. Inspect your basement for any signs of water leakage on the walls and floor. After a recent rain, check for wet spots in the carpet, especially in the corners of your basement. Also, give your walls a sniff. If you detect a musty smell, you may have mold or mildew behind your walls. If you suspect this to be a serious problem, call a professional to inspect further.
Roof. Missing or worn-out roofing materials may allow water to seep into your home and damage your roofing structure. Inspect your roof at least twice a year, and after any severe storms. If you have an attic, you can look for signs of water penetration under the roof after it rains. To do this, inspect the underside of the plywood beneath your roof for any watermarks or mold.