We can all agree that, unless it’s coming out of a faucet on your command, water is an unwelcome guest in your home.
Sadly, though, water has a knack for finding its way inside your home uninvited. And, when it does, it tends to, ahem, dampen your mood. And your carpet.
While you can’t guarantee that your home will be watertight, by checking these water-entry hotspots periodically and taking preventative action, you’ll avoid costly issues.
The foundation is the most important part of your home as it supports everything above it.
But, with all that weight to carry every day, it’s bound to crack under pressure here and there. Over time, with temperature fluctuations and humidity, these cracks tend to get worse.
As cracks are a primary source of water entry, you’ll want to walk your home’s perimeter seasonally to check for emerging issues.
And, you’ll also want to check your grading to ensure the ground is sloping away from your home. If it isn’t, and water is allowed to park itself alongside the foundation repeatedly, cracks could form, get worse and, ultimately, you could have that basement swimming pool you never dreamed of.
When you do find a crack, it goes without saying that you should get it filled – pronto.
We started at the bottom; now we’re here.
This is the most obvious source of water trouble because it’s your home’s first line of water defense when it rains.
Roof damage often occurs when water accumulates — or sits — on the roof. Pooling water weakens the shingles and can even cause nails to rust. This damages the roof’s integrity and promotes mold growth under the top layer. While this might not sound too worrisome, mold can weaken and, ultimately, erode your roof’s structure (now THAT sounds worrisome!).
To avoid pooling, remember to clean your gutters twice a year as this is a huge source of water damage to roofs. Also, if your shingles are curling up on the sides, or have noticeable cracks, it’s time to call in the professionals.
A new roof can cost over $10k (and, for what it’s worth, is one of the best ROI repairs you can make), but if you catch the problem early, you may only need to repair the shingles in question.
The siding of your home was designed to repel water and keep the inside of your home dry.
While siding can last up to 60 years, you’ll want to check on it twice a year to make sure it’s free of warps, discoloration, softening, cracks, or other damage. If you see any of these issues, take action immediately; it doesn’t take much for water to make its way in and start causing mold growth and potentially significant structural damage.
If water is entering through your window, you’ll want to close it.
If water is still coming in when closed, you may have issues worth addressing. Worn components, weakened seals, and, often, poor installation are all common causes of water leakage.
Correct these issues fast and, if needed, get a pro to check them out to avoid bubbling paint, mildew, mold, woot rot, and all the other issues that can arise.
Groundwater Saturation (Hydrostatic Pressure)
We’ve saved the sneakiest water entry point for last.
Hydrostatic pressure may be a foreign phrase to you, so let us explain. Water pressure is the number one cause of basement flooding. When heavy rain accumulates, the weight of the soil creates heavy pressure on the foundation. When that happens, water can seep through your foundation and into your basement.
To alleviate concerns about flooding, it’s important to take preventative measures. Here are our recommendations:
- Install a sump pump
- Regularly clean gutters (2x/year)
- Install a backwater valve
- Check for leaks at least once a year, and if you see any, call a professional
Don’t Blame It on the Rain
It’s going to rain — sometimes for long periods of time and in mass quantities. Luckily, we have smart, well-designed structures that protect us from nature’s worst.
Your best bet to stay dry and avoid costly fixes is to know what to look for, take the time to look, and take action when issues are discovered.
An ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of cure.