Protecting Your Home from Water Damage

You need a solid foundation to build a sturdy house. It's your most important asset. Even the brightest prospects and soundest structures can be ruined if the foundation fails. You need to keep it strong, but how?
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One of the most common disasters is water damage. Annually, fire and water damage restoration costs American homeowner billions of dollars in home foundation repair. Here's how you can safeguard your house against water damage and keep it strong:

Ensure Good Drainage

Poor drainage is one of the main reasons why water can enter your home. It weakens the foundation, causes cracks, and opens pathways for water to seep through. There are several ways to ensure good drainage around your house.

First, create a slope in your yard that's at least six inches and ten feet away from your house. This will keep water from going down to your foundation, where it can create leaks.

Clean your gutters regularly, too. Water will cascade down the side of your house if you have a clogged gutter, and this will create a pool at the edge of your house. It will damage your foundation and the house's siding. You have to make sure that your downspouts are five to ten feet away from your house.

However, the soil around your house shouldn't be left to dry completely. Too much dryness will shrink the surrounding soil, and when it rains, the soil will expand and put pressure on the foundation walls.

If the weather's too dry, hose down water at least three inches under the soil and six inches from the foundation to keep the soil from expanding.

Protect Your Roof

The roof is your first line of defense when it rains. This makes it susceptible to storm damage. To avoid further damage, trim trees that are too close to your roof. If possible, don't grow trees that are too near to your house.

Inspect your roof at least once a year, too. If you have a shingle roof, repair loose, missing, and damaged shingles. Repair cracked caulking and leaks on the flashing as well.

Check Your Sump Pump Regularly

Sump pumps are very useful in keeping water away from your home. They are essential when storms come and you have to remove the water from the collection basin in your basement. For this reason, it's important to check it regularly and see if it's still working properly.

Maintain the Exterior of Your House

If the exterior of your house isn't maintained well enough, water might leak through the interior walls. You'll know if this happens as signs of water damage appear on your interior walls. There could be discoloration, peeling paint, or mold.

To prevent this, inspect your walls regularly. Look for signs of damage. You might be able to clean the wet areas and repair them if you know where the leaks are.

Finally, since we're on the topic of leaks, persistent ones lead to mildew, inviting insects such as carpenter ants and termites. Prevent long-term damage by checking for problems and addressing them quickly.

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