April 7, 2021

April showers bring May flowers and, in some cases, leaks, floods and home water damage. The last thing you want is to fix problems when you’d rather be enjoying the spring weather. Luckily, homeowners can protect their residences and prevent costly repairs with these helpful tips.

Landscape Wisely

If your yard slopes down toward your home, your home may be more prone to flooding and foundation damage. Often, this level of destruction is irreversible or incredibly costly to fix. Luckily, a bit of landscaping can preserve your basement.

First, fix the grade around your house so it slopes away and downward by at least 4 inches in the first 6 feet. Then, reroute drainage to a shallow valley, ditch, or rain garden on your property.

Tend to Your Roof

Rain, wind, hail, animals, debris and even extreme heat can damage your roof and cause leaks in and around your ceiling and walls. Therefore, it’s wise to climb up there and inspect the shingles and flashing, especially before the rainy season arrives.

Check for missing nails, flashing, shingles, and other signs of damage. You can also prevent further issues by cleaning out the gutters and trimming any branches that hang above them.

Seal Cracks

Did your doors and windows let in icy drafts this past winter? If air can seep through those cracks, so can water. Seal them before rain and snowmelt make their way in and boost your home’s energy efficiency in the process.

Apply a thin bead of caulk around doors, windows, pipes, vents, and roof flashings. Use a quick-setting sealant on outside cracks. You might also apply hydraulic cement to seal leaks in and around your basement floor.

Check Your Sump Pump

Homes that reside in areas prone to flooding often come with a sump pump. This contraption collects excess water and pumps it out of your home into a dry well, pond or drain. However, if your pump is old, the pressure sensor can fail to work and cause water to back up into your basement or crawlspace.

Therefore, it’s important to check your pump regularly and perform routine maintenance every few months. Test the backup pump and make sure it’s discharging water properly. Clean the air hole in the discharge line and listen for any unusual noises when the motor runs.

Plan Ahead

When it comes to protecting your home from water damage, seasoned homeowners know to hope for the best and plan for the worst. After all, it's always possible a pump or pipe could break, regardless of how many precautions you take. Therefore, it’s wise to plan ahead for floods and water damage.

The longer water stays in your home, the more damage it’ll cause, so figure out who you’ll call when disaster strikes. You might also keep towels, sealants, caulk, and other materials on hand to clean up and make minor repairs yourself. Taking initiative and planning ahead is the best way to protect your home and everything in it.

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