How to Prevent Water Damage to the Exterior of Your Home
Damage caused by water is one of the most costly expenses a homeowner can encounter. If you want to save yourself — and your house — from incurring a hefty expense due to a water disaster, double down on safety precautions to ensure your home stays safe and dry.
Securing Your Home from Water Outside to Protect It Within
While water is an essential and very necessary component of life, you want to confine the water inside your house to the H2O that runs out of your faucets, comes out of your shower and flushes down your toilet. Unfortunately, water sometimes finds its way into your home in other ways. We have compiled a basic checklist to run through if you're looking to avoid water damage in your house. Safeguard your home by ensuring the following areas are covered:
- Windows: During rainy and snowy days, water can seep into your home through unknown cracks in your windows. Make sure windows are closed tightly to prevent water seepage into your home. If your window appears tightly closed, but you aren’t quite sure if they are properly sealed, inspect the surrounding area for paint that has been discolored — a sign that water may have trickled in.
- Walls: Inspect your walls for any signs of damage. If you notice cracks or fractures — slightly larger than hairline — in the hard wall, stone or brick foundation, you might be able to seal these openings. Look for latex, silicone or polyurethane concrete caulk from your local hardware store to accomplish this. If any shrubbery is leaning up against your home on the outside, be sure to trim it away, so it doesn’t damage the exterior of your home and air and water can flow properly.
- Rooftop: When water hits your home, one of the first areas it touches is often your roof. Secure any loose or broken tiles by replacing them with sturdier more weather-resistant pieces. Inspect the floor immediately below your roof’s foundation during rain and winter storms to ensure no leaking has occurred.
- Gutters and Spouts: Blockage in your gutters prevents water from properly flowing through the pipes when necessary. Unfortunately, leaves and debris often find their way inside downspouts during the fall season right before winter storms strike. Clean your gutters and downspouts several times a year to ensure water flows as it should and doesn’t cause water to pool around your foundation.
Keep an Eye on Your Water Expenses
If your water bill says you owe more than months previous, even if your usage hasn’t changed, investigate your home for the culprit responsible behind these added costs. When your water bill is steady month-to-month and suddenly sky-rockets out of the blue, it could be the result of a leak.
While the leak may not be immediately visible, even the slightest trickle can cause higher water usage as well as damage to your home’s exterior and interior.
Signs a Water Leak Could Happen — or May Have Already
While your home may not currently have water damage, you want to ensure your home stays destruction-free. Your home may be at risk for water leaks if your vegetation is growing too close to your home. Trees and branches should not touch your home’s exterior and should be trimmed if they come in contact with your roof in any way. If your sprinklers are causing water build up or if they face your home’s vents, ensure water damage prevention by moving them to a place where proper water flow can occur.
Unfortunately, leaks don’t always appear with a convenient dripping sound and visual demonstration that allows us to know they have occurred. If you notice any paint discoloration or chipping near openings in your home, such as by windows or doors, investigate the cause and ensure leaks are not the culprit. Another telltale sign that water seepage has occurred are bloated door and window frames, which make the closing and opening difficult to do.
Protect your home from water damage by knowing the cause and sources of leaks and taking the necessary precautions and measures. If you suspect a leak or need additional help safeguarding your home from damage, give ServiceMaster of Lincoln Park a call at (773) 346-6767 or contact us online today for further assistance.