Now that winter is here, homeowners and business owners alike are noticing water from rain, snow, and ice getting inside. Water can cause costly damages to roofs, ceilings, walls, basements, and belongings. It can also pose health hazards when mold and mildew form. However, nearly 93% of all water damage is preventable. Here’s what you can do to keep things dry.
Get a Seamless Gutter System
If you’ve noticed eroded landscape, rotted siding, roof leaks, a flooded basement, or a cracked foundation, your gutters could be to blame. Gutters collect and push water away from your home or business, and need to be regularly cleaned and maintained to work properly. Your downspouts should also be directed at least 5 to 10 feet away from the building. If the gutters or downspouts warp, sag, leak, or clog, it’s time to replace them. Rather than replacing them with sectional gutters, you may want to install a seamless gutter system.
A seamless gutter system won’t have any sections or seams, so water won’t spill out through the cracks. It’s also more tolerant of shrinking and expanding from water, ice, and temperature fluctuations. A seamless gutter system is custom made on-site, so it fits your home or business better than other types of gutters. They will also have a covered top to eliminate clogs from leaves and other debris.
Inspect Your Roof
Most roofs last about 20 years. Depending on where you live, your roof may need to be replaced sooner than that. Wind, snow, ice, rain, and debris all contribute to the amount of wear and tear your roof receives. You will also need regular inspections and roof repairs to get 20 years out of a roof. If you notice cracking, curling, missing shingles, exposed nails, missing granules, damaged or missing flashing, no chimney cricket, holes, rust, or leaks inside, it’s time to call a roofing contractor.
Slope Your Landscape
Many times, you may not realize that your landscape could be forcing water into your home or business. If there are slopes, holes, or even misplaced shrubbery, water will have nowhere to flow but towards your foundation. You may need to backfill in places or even hire someone to slope your landscape to ensure that water will flow away, rather than towards the building.
Inspect Your Pipes
If you notice an unusually high water bill, you may have a leak in your pipes. You should inspect them for visible signs of leaking, pooling water, or stains. A plumber can repair or replace any leaks. Don’t wait to call—the longer you wait, the bigger the problem can become. It’s also best to avoid putting chemicals or grease down your drains because they can corrode or clog your pipes, which makes them more susceptible to leaks.
Check Your Foundation
If you get water in your basement, and the gutters, roof, landscape, or pipes aren’t to blame, you may have seepage from the foundation. Check that your sump pump is working properly to keep water out. If you don’t have one, you may need to install one. You may need to call in a basement waterproofing company to seal the space for a permanent fix.
Caulk and Seal
If you notice stains, cracks, or moisture around windows and doors, it may be time to caulk around them (inside and outside) or even replace them. These may seem like small points of entry, but you can end up with unseen damage or mold behind the walls. You should also make sure to caulk around tubs, showers, and sinks so that water doesn’t drip down below them and into the basement.
Keep an Eye on Little Things
Sometimes it’s the little things that cause the biggest problems. You should maintain the correct humidity in your home—condensation on walls, windows, or floors can cause more water damage than you might think. Invest in a dehumidifier if too much moisture is an issue. You should also check appliances for leaks often, such as your washing machine and hot water heater. Your hot water heater needs to be cleaned about every 6 months.
By inspecting your home or business regularly, you can prevent costly water damage. You should be especially mindful in the winter months when there is the possibility for more damage.