This summer brought record-breaking hurricanes and rainfall to the Mid-Atlantic region. Maryland was spared the big rainfall, but even small powerful bursts of storms can be troublesome to your house. Water wreaks havoc on structures.
If you spotted any water leaking into your home, it’s vital to address it. A small leak should be fixed as soon as possible, because the longer it lingers, the more damage occurs and the more expensive it becomes.
What are some maintenance steps you can take today to help make sure your house is in its best shape for the next storm?
- Inspect your roof periodically for waves or divots. Call a pro if you see them.
- Clear the valleys (where two roofs meet) of leaves, twigs, and other debris.
- Replace shingles that no longer have grit on them, are cracked, bent, or peeling.
- Caulk nail pops.
- Caulk the chimney and exhaust pipes if cracked or peeling.
- Inspect skylights – they are often a source for leaks.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Clear gutters of leaves, sticks, and seed pods. If your gutter is clogged with debris, rainwater will flow over the top of the gutter and onto the side of your house.
- Make sure the gutters are attached tightly to the fascia board along the roofline. The roof should hang over the gutters so water drains directly off the roof into the gutter. Roof runoff should never run down the side of your house.
- Downspouts should be angled away from the house. If water is pooling at the bottom of the downspout, there are attachments available to drain it to a further location.
- If your downspout empties into a drain, clear the drain of leaves/grass/etc.
Windows and Doors
- Caulk around the edges. Not only will this help with moisture, but it will also increase the efficiency of your home heating it this winter.
- Inspect for water damage, mildew, and even mold.
- Humidity in the basement should be below 50% to prevent mold/mildew growth. Manage humidity with a dehumidifier, and change its filter often. Dehumidifiers can be set up to drain directly into a basement sink, or some have a bucket that needs to be emptied whenever it is full.
- If you have water problems, have a professional take a look. There are a number of ways to waterproof your basement, if necessary.
- Clear culverts of yard debris.
- Clear under-driveway pipes.
- Check for water gathering near your house when it rains. Water can ruin your foundation.
- Regrading your yard, installing exterior drains, and even landscaping are all options when it comes to yard water management.