A little rain doesn’t need to cause a worry, it’s a needed resource to keep things in bloom. However, a large amount of water can cause home owners to worry. Often times, we get our clients calling us about their homes being affected by all the water Utah is receiving. They jump to the idea that something was wrong with the home before they bought it. A lot of the time, if not most of the time, the buyers haven’t taken the necessary steps in order to prevent these things from happening. Water damage can cause unexpected costs and hassles so we’re here to suggest a few ideas and steps you can take to prevent these problems from happening.
Gutters should be one of the first things you check. It’s an important part of your roofing system. The purpose of a gutter is to gather and channel water from the roof and to take water away from the home’s foundation which will protect the exterior as well as stop water from entering the home.
Clean and check the guttering regularly and make sure there isn’t anything that’s broken, leaking and/or clogged. Taking these simple steps will reduce the possibility of overflow or other problems that may occur from a heavy rain. Making sure your downspouts are pointed away from your home and making sure those don’t have any damage is a simple but important thing to check for as well. We suggest you add an additional length of four feet to the down spouts to make certain the water stays away from the foundation of your home. Also, if you build up a barrier around the foundation of your home that slopes away from the house with dirt, rock and mulch rather than building it with the slope towards the foundation, that will help the water stay away from leaking into your home.
Only use a secure ladder. Never use an unstable ladder in poor weather.
Another issue we see our clients facing is water damage in their basements from water coming in from their windows. This is caused by window wells not being properly prepped. Laying gravel will also prevent your home from having water leak into your basement. With window wells, you want it to be cleared of anything such as weeds, newspaper, toys or big items. These things will prevent water from funneling into the ground. The only thing you want in your window well is a layer of gravel so it can absorb the water.
If you only have dirt in your window well and a rain storm causes a large amount of water to gather, the mud gets so dense that it can’t drain, therefore, we see water gathering on top and leaking through the windows into the basements. What you want to do is dig approximately a foot below the bottom window line and fill it up with gravel allowing a few inches between the gravel and the bottom of the window line. This allows the water to properly funnel through the gravel while giving about a foot of water to sit while it absorbs into the ground.
You can never be sure with how much rain will accumulate. Another tip we suggest is to have sandbags on hand. This is a simple yet effective way to divert large amounts of water to other areas away from your home. This can be labor intensive, but if you’re worried that there is too much water near your home you can create a barrier with sandbags.
Sandbags do not guarantee a water-tight seal. They will simply reduce the amount of water that could reach your home in a flood situation.