Spring 2018 Guide to Keeping Your House Leak Free
Water damage to your home not only affects the health of your home, but all your own health. Untreated water damage can lead to structural damage to the house and the resulting mold from untreated water damage can result in a myriad of health issues for you and your family.
You never want to ignore water damage and you should try to prevent it as much as possible. Here is your Spring 2018 guide to keeping your house leak free:
Your Roof Is Your First Line of Defense
When Mother Nature unleashes her forces onto us, the roof of your house is always the hardest hit. The rain should be directed to the rain gutters and then into the down spouts that direct the water away from the house.
When your roof and gutters are in good working order then you don’t have to worry about leaks in your home. But if they are old and worn with holes or not installed properly you can end up leaks in your walls and even in the foundation of your home. That is why it so important to do regular maintenance and to keep on the lookout for signs of leakage.
Have a roofing specialist come out early in autumn every year for a quick inspections so you have time to replace or repair your roof before the more volatile winter months.
You should also check to make sure your downspouts are at least 6 feet from the foundation of your home. And if they are not, then see about using rain barrels to manage the excess rain. Also make sure that the grading of the soil around your house is on a downward slope away from the house.
You also need to check the flashing, the sheet metal that keeps the intersection between the chimney and roof watertight, to make sure it is not cracked, loose or missing.
Check the Caulk around Your Windows
Windows are another area of your home where leaks are common. Check all the caulking around the windows and even your doors too to ensure that they are not crack which can lead to the leaking. Re-caulk every few years for best results.
Plumbing Problems Can Also Cause Leaks
Plumbing problems in your home can also cause leaks and water damage to your home as well so you need to keep up with maintaining all the plumbing in your home. Check the seals on toilets and bathtubs and check pipes for freezing and cracks to make sure you are alerted to any problems as soon as possible. Even just a little dripping of water can cause big damage when left unchecked.
Add Attic Insulation
When your house is properly insulated, that will also help with waterproofing your home as well as increasing the energy efficiency of your home.
Repair Cracks in Your Foundation
Even the smallest crack in your foundation walls can let water inside so it is important to properly maintain your home’s foundation just like everything else in your home. On a regular basis, inspect the foundation walls for cracks and fix them before heavy rain and snow can leak inside and cause structural damage. For small cracks, you can simply use caulk designed to repair masonry while larger holes can be fixed with hydraulic cement.
Clean Your Rain Gutters
Your rain gutters have an important job to do: they route the runoff from your roof so it drains away from the house so there is no water damage during or after rainstorms.
Most houses have rain gutters attached to their roofs. Homes with large overhangs that do a similar job might not need them. If you have them though it is important to keep them in good shape and to replace them when they get cracked and corroded and can no longer do their job effective. You also need to regularly maintain them so they don’t get clogged with leaves and other debris.
Either you have to climb the ladder and do it yourself or you need to hire a professional gutter cleaning company to do it for you. The rule of thumb is to clean your gutters at least twice a year, but more if you have a lot of trees hanging over your house or you live in an area that experiences a lot of storms.
If you have any concerns about safely climbing up and down the ladder, then your safest bet is to hire a professional cleaning company. If you are going to do it yourself, make sure you have a sturdy ladder and never ever stand on the top two rungs.
Ways to clean your gutters:
- A leaf blower or a hose– but make sure you wear goggles and a dust mask and heavy work gloves.
- Purchase a gutter cleaning kit that can connect to your leaf blower.
- Use a garden trowel or gutter scoop to clean it out by hand. For best results, start at the drain outlet near the low end of the gutter. Then just dump into a bucket to dispose of when you are all done. It is best to do it when the leaves are only slightly damp not real soggy.
Besides focusing on what is just in the gutters, also make sure to use the leaf blower to blow any leaves or debris off the roof itself so it doesn’t all end up in the gutters the next time it rains.
One product that can make maintaining your gutter system easier is TheSpoutOff. It is especially helpful if you have small rain gutter outlets because TheSpoutoff outlets are designed with a larger opening allowing for water to still run down even if other parts of the gutter are clogged. Another great plus is that these outlets are easy to keep clean through the removable downspout that allows you to check on the outlets without having to climb a ladder. With TheSpoutOff, a fear of heights or balance concerns will no longer keep you from properly taking care of your home and it is a lot cheaper than hiring a professional cleaner to come regularly to clear out all the debris.
The SpoutOff can be retrofitted to your current gutter system or it can be added to a new one, depending upon your needs. The instructions are relatively easy to follow so it is something you can easily install yourself, but any local gutter company can do it for you as well.
Contact TheSpoutOff today to learn how it can take the hassle out of cleaning your gutters.