If your area has been experiencing dry conditions, heavy rains can feel like a relief, especially in the warm summer months. However, when heavy rain falls all at once or an area experiences a lengthy period of rain, excess water can cause damage to your home. To reduce the damaging effects of heavy rain on your home, you can prepare with a few simple actions, including cleaning gutters regularly and sealing basements and crawl spaces against water damage.
Water damage can be costly to repair
How can heavy rain damage your home? In addition to flood damage, which can extensively harm your home’s foundation and ruin both interiors and exteriors, heavy rains that don’t cause major flooding can also impact your pocketbook. One part of a home that sees the most costly damage from heavy rains is the roof. If your home lacks properly installed gutters that are cleaned regularly, heavy rain can cause damage to the roof and allow water to leak into the home’s attic and top floors.
On the opposite end of the home, heavy rains can also damage a home’s foundation. The lowest points of your home can be damaged by flooding, cracks, and soil erosion. Even a small leak can allow a large amount of water to enter the home during a rainstorm. A damaged foundation can cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix, so you should get regular home and foundation inspections and fix small issues as soon as possible — before they become big ones.
Heavy rains can also damage a home’s siding, outdoor areas, and doors and windows. Good working gutters and downspouts can help reduce the impacts on siding and ensure water doesn’t pool near the home, which can also damage the foundation. Sealing decks and other outdoor areas can help reduce rain damage. Ensuring your home’s doors, windows, and HVAC units are properly sealed will minimize the effects of water leaking into the home during heavy rains.
What to do if water leaks occur in your home
If water does enter your home during heavy rains, whether in the basement, crawl space, or around windows or doors, it’s important to clean up all standing water and improve ventilation and airflow throughout the home to reduce mold and mildew growth. It’s also important to fix the root problem that caused the leak before it can cause any additional damage.
Preparing in advance to reduce costly damages
The best way to reduce costly damages caused by heavy rainstorms or lengthy wet weather is to prepare in advance. Here’s a checklist on how to prepare for a flood. Even small actions to prepare for wet weather can help save money from costly flood damage. First, ensure your home’s gutters are well installed and cleaned regularly – once in the spring and once in the fall is best. Next, when it is raining, check your downspouts and make sure they direct water flow away from the home. This will reduce water pooling near the home and leaking into the foundation or basement windows.
One way a home’s exterior, including the roof, can be damaged by weather is by falling trees and tree limbs. When you’re planting new trees, consider planting them far away from the home – even if it will take years for the tree to grow high enough to cause damage in a storm. If you have trees planted close to the home, make sure to prune dead limbs and cut back tree limbs near the roof or windows.
Sealing entryways from water leaks
Another area of a home that can attract water during a heavy rain is the HVAC unit, especially if installed in a window. Ensure your HVAC unit is included in your annual home inspection, and if needed, add additional caulking around window units to protect against leaks. In addition, adding weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors can reduce water leakage during a heavy rain. Pay special attention to basement and ground floor windows, which can be breached by water in a flood or heavy storm.
When your home is inspected by a professional each year, ensure they check the roof and foundation for damage. If small cracks or other issues are detected, it is important to fix them immediately, before they become even larger problems. Even a small roof or foundation crack can cause major water damage in a storm. Adding new sealant to your basement and crawl space can help protect against costly water damages.
Protecting valuables before an emergency
Another way to prevent costly water damage to your home is to protect your most valuable possessions before an emergency occurs. Always store valuables in water-resistant storage units above ground. For items stored in the basement, use shelves to keep the items off the floor. Check your basement or crawl space regularly for standing water or moisture, and consider installing a dehumidifier to improve air quality and circulation, and a sump pump to protect against water damage. Check to ensure your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is up to date and keep a good list of items inside the home in case you do need to contact your insurance provider about damages to your home.
Remember to get your home inspected annually to ensure you identify and fix foundation damage before it grows. Here’s a checklist of what to do after a flood to protect your home.
Need help with preparing for wet weather or what to do after the storm has passed? Find out how your local Groundworks basement waterproofing, foundation repair, and crawl space repair experts can help you protect and repair your home.