As inches — and sometimes feet — of rain pour down on your property, it’s natural to worry about leaks, which can wreak havoc on your home in the forms of mold and wood rot. While it’s impossible to control Mother Nature, there’s plenty you can do ahead of time to weather the coming rainstorms. Take a look at these preventative measures which will keep you dry during the rainy season.
Clean your gutters
Depending on the number of trees on your property, and their proximity to your home, you’ll want to clean your gutters at least twice a year. You can either tackle this task yourself with a gutter cleaning tool or hire a professional service. At the same time, it’s important to maintain the trees on your property. If branches are leaning over your home and could damage it in a storm, have them cut back or trimmed, which will also minimize the amount of leaves that clog your gutters.
Double check your downspouts
Downspouts, the pipe-like tubes that extend vertically along the sides of your home and connect to your gutters, are key when it comes to keeping water from pooling near your home’s foundation. To ensure that they’re functioning optimally, check to see that they’re properly sealed and caulked. Installing mesh filters at the top keeps leaves and debris out of the system, preventing clogging. Ideally, downspouts should empty at least 10 feet away from your home’s foundation.
Inspect your roof flashing
Before those first drops of rain fall, take a look in your attic to make sure you don’t see any evidence of a leak. If you do, it may be caused by holes, cracks, or rusting in the metal roof flashing, which is found around chimneys, skylights, dormers, and at your roof’s edges. In some cases, flashing may need to be replaced. In others, there may just be a pinpoint causing the problem. If that’s the issue, you can repair it yourself or hire a roofing expert to handle it for you.
Study your walls
While typically you look to either your floors or ceiling for telltale signs of a leak, your walls can also indicate you’ve got an issue you need to address. Walls can soak up inches of water, either from your foundation or due to leaking windows. Look for discoloration, bubbling paint, or peeling wallpaper, and if you notice any, find the source and eliminate the issue before it worsens.
Assess your skylights
Skylights are a wonderful addition to a room when the sun is shining or the stars are twinkling. But during times of rain and high winds, they may be a liability if they’re not properly sealed. If you have a leak, find out what’s causing it. If it’s between the glass and frame, you should be able to fix it with silicone caulk. If it’s between the roof and the frame, check the installation or the flashing around the frame.
Don’t let the rainy season dampen your spirits by doing damage to your home. Taking precautions can prevent potential problems and keep you and your property dry.