The start of spring is a happy time for all. Warmer weather, sunny days, and a return to enjoying the outdoors whether away or just relaxing on a deck! However, spring can sometimes bring a bit too much spring – which means heavy rains and potential flooding. Homeowners should be ready to protect their home against common spring water damage causes. We can help you identify the easiest solutions to get ahead of so you can focus on enjoying the nicer weather!
Inspect Your Roof
Water enters your home either from above or below. While a large portion of homeowners experience surprise water damage from their foundation, it’s worth checking your roof to look for potential spring water damage risks.
An easy way to inspect the roof to find damaged, loose, or missing shingles is to use a pair of binoculars. If you see loose or broken shingles, fix those as soon as possible to protect your home from leaks. Check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys, too. Any gap in your roof can let water in which can lead to issues like mold.
While you’re checking your roof, you should also pay close attention to the gutters. It’s hard to overstate the value of gutters to protecting your home investment! They are one of the first lines of defense against rainwater
The decomposed leaves and twigs that nature leaves behind after winter may be worse than those in your gutter during the summer months. Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.
You can even look at adding extensions to downspouts to carry water away from your home’s foundation. This is important when your downspouts aren’t depositing gutter water far enough away. If your gutters are in perfect working condition but eject the water straight into the ground near your foundation, you may as well not have gutters at all!
Look for Foundation Cracks
A cracked foundation is often the result of frost heaves – soil movement caused by the freeze-thaw cycle – which can leave cracks in your basement walls and floor. Frost heave is particularly common in our area of Toledo, Ohio and the surrounding cities due to how unpredictable the weather can be throughout the winter and even into spring.
If the cracks are less than a nickel-width wide, you can take the following steps to minimize further damage:
- Replace the soil surrounding your foundation with more porous alternatives such as gravel and/or fill sand, which is a blend of sand, soil, and clay.
- Add a drainage system at the base of a foundation, like a French drain, to drain the water away.
- Dig top-level and subterranean reservoirs to redirect water away from your home’s foundation.
- Insulate your home’s foundation to minimize heat loss between the foundation and the surrounding soil. When heat transfers to the surrounding soil through foundation walls, it enhances the freeze-thaw cycle.
- Make sure your gutters are in good working order and drain rainwater at a sufficient distance away from your house – at least 6 to 8 feet.
If the cracks are large or extensive, have the foundation professionally inspected and repaired.
Replace Caulk & Weather Stripping Around Windows & Doors
Houses will frequently settle over time. This happens when the soil beneath the home shifts, often due to changing moisture when the area below or around the foundation experiences major intake of water. This settling can sometimes be identified by looking at door or window frames for unusual gaps that didn’t exist before – or look worse than they used to.
If the gap around a door or window is wider than a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk to keep your home energy bill down and the insects out. Check window-glazing putty, too, which seals glass into the window frame. You can add weather stripping around doors too, making sure that you can’t see any daylight from inside your home.
Take a Close Look at Your Driveway & Sidewalks for Cracks and Heaves
Broken concrete or asphalt is more than just an eyesore. It’s a tripping hazard that can lead to painful results. Fix any breakdown in concrete or asphalt before it worsens. You can patch or fill surface cracks, chips or flaking in concrete yourself using cement-repair products. For deeper cracks, settling or sunken concrete, or frost heaves, call a professional.
Evaluate Your Grading
Lawn grading isn’t something most homeowners think about that frequently. But you should! The ideal grading should start with a slope away from your home. Moisture that seeps into the ground still behaves similarly to how you might expect it to on the surface. If your grading is perfectly flat, or even worse, sloping into your foundation, you could be allowing extra moisture to start pressing against your foundation. This is a common cause of significant spring water damage to your home.
Small grading solutions can often be simple. For more serious ones, you may need a major regrading of the area – or you may want to look at investments like a full drainage system as part of a new waterproofing system for your property.
Contact EverDry Toledo
Stay connected with EverDry Toledo on Social Media to learn more home maintenance tips and tricks!