Spring is here, and you may be eagerly anticipating some April showers to help your May flowers grow. However, if you don’t prepare your home, rainy weather can cause a plethora of problems, such as structural damage and mold. Add the tasks in this guide to your regular maintenance schedule to help keep your home dry and your yard safe whenever rain is in the forecast.
Clean and repair gutters and downspouts
Your gutters are essential for channeling water away from your home, but when they’re clogged with debris, they can cause damage to your roof and foundation. You should clean your gutters at least twice a year. However, if you have a yard filled with trees, you should complete the task every three months. You can also install gutter guards to help prevent your gutters from filling with debris. If you notice that they appear loose, saggy, or leaky, you should have them fixed or replaced immediately.
Additionally, make sure your downspouts carry drainage at least six feet away from your house. If they don’t, consider adding an extender attachment. Just be aware of where your downspouts are pointing; the best option is to aim them toward an incline away from your home. Avoid pointing downspouts toward your home, driveway, patio, or a neighbor’s home.
Check for entry points
Water can infiltrate your home from several entry points. Inspect the following areas before wet weather arrives.
Your roof is the first line of defense against rain, but it is also a common entry point for moisture. Examine it for issues such as loose shingles or sagging. You should also check to make sure all skylights are adequately sealed. If you feel uneasy checking your roof yourself, contact a professional. Don’t forget about your chimney; damage to the chimney, lining, or crown can allow water to seep in, so have a professional inspect yours every spring.
Check your siding for damage, warping, or holes, which can indicate that water is leaking into your home. If you find a spot with minor damage, caulk can usually do the trick. Also, consider adding a fresh coat of paint to your home. Upgrading your home’s paint job can improve its aesthetic but also protect it from the elements. Before you begin, confirm that painting the siding won’t void its warranty if it is still in effect.
Basement and foundation
Inspect your foundation, basement walls, and basement windows for cracks or leaks. While epoxy can help fix minor damage, you should contact a professional for any extensive damage. Be sure to seal your basement windows and install covers over window wells. Finally, consider installing a backwater valve, which can prevent sewage backup from entering your home.
Add a sump pump
If your basement or crawl space floods frequently, a sump pump can prevent mold, water damage, and further flooding. A sump pump drains water from the inside of your home to the outside. Keep in mind, you’ll need to keep it maintained for it to be effective. Always make sure your sump pump is working correctly in the days before a big storm hits so that you’re not left underwater. To get the most out of this machine, make sure it has a backup power source in case of power failure, and consider installing an alarm to alert you if it loses power.
Check the seals around exterior openings
Make sure you regularly check the sealing around any openings, such as doors, windows, and exhaust fans, to the exterior of your house. If the seals of these areas appear cracked or brittle, reseal them with caulk. Also, paint any wood window and door trim with premium exterior gloss paint to help prevent moisture from penetrating the wood.
Prepare your yard
If rainwater tends to pool in your yard, you can have a French drain installed to prevent this. These drains collect surface water and channel it away from depressions in your yard or foundation. Also, make sure any planters, raised gardens, tree roots, vegetation, or play areas are not blocking your yard’s runoff. Ensure the ground area and any mulch, gravel, or soil around your home slopes away from its foundation. If the ground tilts toward your house, water could flood into your basement or foundation slab.
If your yard has trees that appear weak or dead, you may want to hire a professional to trim them back or remove them. Heavy rain can cause trees to snap or be uprooted, resulting in damage to your home or a neighbor’s property.
Finally, if there are any municipal storm drains near your property, confirm there is no debris blocking them. If they’re clogged, call your public works department.
With some regular home maintenance, you can feel confident that wet weather won’t rain on your parade this spring.