Spring is always a time for celebration! The cold, chilly winds, ice and snow are gone and the temperatures begin to climb. It’s time for longer days and flowers. The March spring season comes in like a lion, and then April brings plenty of those classic showers. Even if you love the sound of rain on the rooftop, it’s important to take steps to avoid letting spring rainfall turn into a problem for your home. If your home isn't ready for April showers — here are some tips to prevent flooding and keep your house safe from springtime downpours.
Check Your Gutter and Downspouts
During the rainy spring months, your gutters and spouts do a lot of work, helping catch rainwater and divert it away from your house. It’s important to make sure that your gutters and downspouts are in prime condition before the rainy season really sets in. Check to make sure that your gutters are well-secured, and look for any leaky spots. Get any leaves and other debris that may have accumulated over the fall and winter months out of your gutters, to help prevent the troughs from overflowing. If your gutters tend to collect a lot of tree debris, you may want to consider adding a gutter shield or screen to help prevent clogging. Finally, check your downspouts and drainage to make sure that water is flowing neatly away from your home. The more that water gushes directly downward, the higher the risk of water damage and leaks to your windows, walls, and foundation.
Inspect Your Roofing
It is vital to inspect your roof for any wear and tear. Leaks can lead to damaged ceiling and walls. Water also promotes the growth mold and mildew, which will weaken timber and other building materials. You need to replace any loose or missing shingle to keep your roofing steady and prevent leakage.
Seal Your Siding, Windows and Doors
Examine the exterior of your home to ensure it is in good shape. Look for any tear or hole on your siding and seal them. If your siding is made of wood, aluminum, stucco, or clear shingles, you might need to paint it for extra protection. You should also ensure that your windows and doors don’t have cracks, which can allow rainwater in the house. Consider covering the space between windows and door frames because they might let in water during heavy rains.
Double Check Your Drainage
Many properties are designed with flood prevention in mind. But over time, areas that were intended for drainage can start to lose some of their efficacy. Just as you should look for warning signs of leaks or flooding inside your home, be sure to talk a walk around outside, and look for any trouble with your property’s drainage. Take a look at your driveway or paved pathways to look for cracks or damage. If the concrete elements outside your home are sending water toward your home’s foundation, instead of draining it away, you may want to call in a professional to see about updating or replacing them. Similarly, check for damage or pooling water in the low-lying areas around your foundation, to make sure that these spots won’t pose a long-term problem. Consider trimming back tree limbs and tall shrubs, particularly those that are growing around your roofline, near your foundation, or close to your HVAC systems. Overgrown greenery can be a source for water to collect and trickle down into your home. Plus, if stems or branches break off during heavy rains, they could cause major damage.
Check Your Basement
The basement is usually the most affected area when it comes to water damage. You need to inspect it several times before the rainy season kicks in to identify any areas that need attention. Also, if your basement has a musty smell, this can be a sign of mold and mildew. Be sure to dry your basement and seal any crack in the walls.
Have a Sump Pump? Make Sure it Works
Sump pumps and ejector pumps are the unsung heroes of the rainy season. A sump pump is a system installed in a basement or crawl space, designed to collect and redirect groundwater, before it gets the chance to seep up and cause damage to your space. In essence, the sump pump allows groundwater to pool, and then safely pumps it out and away from your home. An ejector pump collects sewage and wastewater in the lower levels of your home, and channels it upwards so it can drain safely, without posing a flood risk to your home. This is important because sewage systems can sometimes back up during periods of heavy rainfall. Before spring rain really starts coming down, test your sump pump and ejector pump, and consider having them serviced by an experienced professional. Best to treat any signs of trouble now, rather than waiting for these systems to fail right when you need them most.
Protect Your Outdoor Areas
Plenty of people look forward to spring because it’s a great chance to work and play outdoors. Whether your passion is gardening, playing sports, or simply lounging outside with a good book, it’s important to make sure you take steps to keep your outdoor oasis in prime condition.
Invest in tarps or covers for your outdoor decor, such as furniture, grills, woodpiles, doghouses, and more. You may also want to have on hand a few ropes, sand bags, or other ways of keeping these outdoor elements secured during powerful storms. Before major storms, bring some of your potted plants inside, so that they don’t flood or break in the heavy wind and rain. If you have a wooden deck or patio, you may also want to make sure that the sealant is up to date, to prevent warping, cracking, and flooding.