A water leak can quickly become problematic. What starts as a tiny drip can lead to mounting damages and unnecessary exposure to the elements; not to mention mold, mildew, and other pervasive issues. Here are a few ways to protect your home from water damage:
1. Look Over Siding for Issues
Siding is important for protecting your home from water damage and the elements. Fortunately, a quick look from the ground is all you need to determine the potential for damage – no ladder is required. Keep an eye out for siding that has fallen off, is bowing, or looks crooked. These are signs your house needs new siding.
On the inside of your home, note any water damage behind the walls, too. That can also be from faults in your siding. This can be tough to find, given its hidden nature, but by paying attention to possible water marks or stains on walls or by using a moisture detector, you can expose the damage. These are also signs you might have mold behind the walls, so you don’t want to ignore them.
If you see issues with your siding, it’s important to repair or replace it. Because siding is essential to protecting your home from water damage, insulating it, and more, it’s one of the things homeowners should not delay fixing. The longer your home stays exposed, the more damage is going to accumulate and the more issues you will need to fix.
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2. Make Sure Windows Have a Tight Seal
An improperly caulked window can cause some serious water seepage into the home. Check the area between your window frames and wall/trim as well as around the glass and windows themselves to make sure the caulking is firm and tight.
If it’s beginning to sag, or separate, it’s time for a re-sealing project. If there are issues with the seal and you see other issues like cracks, poor installation, or other reasons to replace your windows, you will want to start looking into getting new windows for your home. This can help protect your home from water damage while also improving energy efficiency.
Check out this timelapse video of the Zephyr Thomas team replacing a bay window for this homeowner!
3. Ensure Your Gutters Are Clear
A good gutter system will act as your home’s first line of defense against water damage. Make sure to give them a thorough clean at least once per year, and several sweeps throughout. Get as much debris out of there as you can! There are some gutter cleaning tips to help make this easier.
But, if clearing out your gutters doesn’t sound like a walk in the park, you can always consider installing gutter guards as well. These systems provide a cover to keep most debris out of your gutters. They may still need to be cleared every now and then, but the maintenance is far less than standard gutters.
If you notice the gutters are beginning to break away from your home, affix them as soon as possible. They can’t reroute water away from your home appropriately if they’re detached. If they are not directing water away from your home effectively, then you are risking water damage to siding, foundation, and more. As you look over your gutters, check for sagging, damage around them, cracks, and other signs you need to replace your gutters.
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4. Maintain Your Roof
Your roof is one of the biggest things that protect your home from water damage, keep it safe from the elements, and more. Replacing your roof when it’s needed and maintaining your roof can help make sure it continues to protect your home. Clearing gutters regularly, cleaning off the roof periodically, and more are all roof maintenance tips that can help extend the life of your roof and make sure it is protecting your home.
If you start noticing brown spots growing on the ceiling, or even visible water leaks, they are likely from a damaged roof. It’s important to regularly check your roof for missing shingles and warping to prevent damage to your home, especially following a major storm. If climbing up a ladder and walking on the roof isn’t something you can or want to do, you can always call a specialist.
Check out the Zephyr Thomas team replacing this homeowner’s roof!
5. Check Your Basement
Basements, especially if they are unfinished, are notorious for air leaks, moisture issues, and water damage. These are also some of the reasons why keeping an unfinished basement could be a mistake. A finished basement can help protect your home from water damage while also increasing home value.
Whether your basement is finished or unfinished, it’s important to check it over regularly to make sure there are no energy leaks or signs of water damage. High humidistat readings, condensations, signs of mold, and more are all signs your basement has excess moisture and can be signs of water damage in your home.
In the timelapse video below, the Zephyr Thomas team completes a basement remodel for this homeowner!
6. Monitor Appliances, Showers, and Tubs
Appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and more use water in some capacity. An issue with these appliances can lead to water damage in your home. Regularly check hoses and faucets to make sure everything is in good shape.
There should be no cracks or water leaks and everything should be connected securely. You also want to check the seals and caulking around showers and bathtubs to make sure they continue to maintain their waterproofing and are not leaking water into the floor.
Forgetting appliance maintenance is one of the common home maintenance mistakes; spending some time on it can save you in the long run. Checking in on these things regularly does take some time, but it also costs far less in time, energy, and money than waiting for a bigger issue to force a larger repair.
7. Prepare Your Home for Changing Seasons
Changing seasons, extreme weather, and fluctuating temperatures can all wreak havoc on your home and can cause issues if your home is not prepared to deal with them. You can’t control what happens with the weather, but you can go through basic maintenance and preparation when the seasons change to help avoid preventable issues.
Insulating pipes, checking the sump pump, and other winter maintenance tips can help reduce the chance of pipes freezing and bursting during winter. Monitoring trees in your yard and cleaning things up before classic stormy seasons can help prevent damage from falling trees or other debris during storms. What you need to do will depend on your home, lot, climate, etc., but a little bit of prep can go a long way in preventing damage and protecting your home.
8. Know How to Shut Off Your Water
Even if you keep up with maintenance, unexpected things can still happen. If a pipe bursts or there is another issue with your water, it’s important to know where your water main is and how to turn it off before something happens. This can make a big difference in how much water damage is done to your home when something unexpected happens.
These are a few ways to protect your home from water damage. If you see issues in any of these areas, call Zephyr Thomas at 717-399-4708 for help with all of your home improvement needs.