With hurricane and tropical storm season well underway, damage from heavy rainfall is one of the major concerns that face homeowners this time of year. Here are 10 things that you can do to help keep your home safe from water and property damage.
1. Clean Your Gutters!
Your gutters serve as the pathway for rainwater to flow from your roof to a safe drainage system around your home. If that pathway is clogged or blocked, rainwater can build up and cause damage or leaks to your roof, foundation, landscaping, etc. Be sure to clear your gutters and downspouts of all leaves and debris that could cause a blockage. Your downspouts should be pointed away from your home, extending at least 2 ft. away from the foundation wall, to be sure that water does not start to pool against the house. Install a gutter filter or guard to help with gutter maintenance. GutterStuff® Foam Filters are the easiest foam filters to install and maintain while keeping your gutters clear of debris and water flowing freely to your downspouts!
2. Check the Sump Pump
Have a professional take a look at your sump pump at least once a year to make sure that everything is working correctly and all drainage lines are clear. If this gets clogged or is not working properly, heavy rain could cause water buildup and flooding in your basement or home.
3. Inspect Roof
Even the smallest hole in your roof can be a source of leakage during heavy rainfall. Be sure to inspect your roof for wear and tear on shingles or siding. Look for cracks or discoloration on and around your roof as these could be signs of weakening or decay.
4. Check Windows & Doors
Check the seals around all of the windows and doors. Any breaks or openings can be a source of leaks during heavy rainfall. Consider weatherstripping or adding a fresh bead of caulking to be sure everything is sealed.
5. Clear Drains and Rainwater Path
Your "rainwater path" is the route that starts at the gutter downspout and ends at a street drain or drainage ditch. Check along this path and around the drain to be sure that nothing will block the rainwater from reaching and filtering into the drainage system. Look for debris that might have built up around the drain or things like toys or uprooted plants in your yard that could divert water into an unwanted area.
7. Foundation Grading
Ensure that the grading around your home slopes away from the foundation wall. If the ground is pitched the wrong way, water could pool around the foundation wall of your home and cause leaks or cracks. Contact a local landscaper to help build up any areas in your yard that might have started to dip due to landscaping or natural erosion.
8. Review Insurance Policy
Become familiar with the insurance policy on your home. Check to see what is covered when it comes to flooding, roof damage, and natural disasters. Depending on where you live and what is in the forecast, it is beneficial to take inventory of what is in your home, just in case it needs to be replaced.
9. Other Areas to Check
Various areas around your home can be cause of concern when it comes to heavy rainfall. Stairwell drains, window wells, chimneys, a/c units, etc. should all be inspected and clear of debris.
10. Things to Consider
Depending on where you live and what is headed your way, purchasing sandbags or a backup water pump, could be a huge help. Consider covering your air vents and unplugging electronics if a big storm is in the forecast. Take a look at the trees around your house and trim any large or low hanging branches that could fall on your roof or property.
Taking care of these areas around your home will help get you prepared for the next heavy rainfall. Check one of these items off the list by installing GutterStuff® Foam Filters! Easily installed in minutes and will help keep your gutters and downspouts clear, year after year!
For more information on how to prepare for heavy rainfall, tropical storms or hurricanes, visit Ready.gov.