How to Prevent Water Damage From Heavy Rains

Most areas experience occasional rain, but if you live in a location that is prone to torrential rains or a long rainy season, you should know how to prepare your home for this weather and prevent serious water damage from occurring. There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of damage to the interior and exterior of your home and your foundation.

By taking precautions in advance, you can lessen the amount of initial flood damage, but also avoid costly structural damage in the future, like mold, wood rot, and foundation cracks.

Prepare in Advance

If you know your area is in for some heavy rainstorms, here are some things you can do to prepare. First, you should make sure your gutters are secured to your home and cleaned regularly to avoid clogs. And the next time it’s raining, watch your downspouts to make sure they direct water flow away from the home. This reduces water pooling near your home and leaks into your foundation and basement windows.

Additionally, if you have trees near your home, ensure that branches near your roof and windows are well-trimmed. When you’re planting new trees, try to plant them farther away from your home to reduce the risk of damage to your home’s exterior during storms.

On the inside of your home, protect your possessions by keeping them off the floor and in above-ground rooms. Store your most valuable items in water-resistant storage units above ground. Regularly check your basement or crawl space for standing water and moisture. If this is an issue, consider installing a dehumidifier to improve air quality and circulation and a sump pump to protect against water damage. Also, confirm that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is up to date, and make a list of items in your home in case you need to file an insurance claim.

How To Prevent Water Damage From Heavy Rains Infograph

Steps to Prevent Water Damage From Heavy Rains

1. Maintain Gutters and Downspouts

Maintain Gutters and Downspouts

  • Clean gutters and downspouts multiple times a year, especially in the spring and fall to prevent clogs that can damage your gutter system and cause water damage, mold, and rot. 
  • Keep trees trimmed and away from gutters to prevent clogs from leaves and damage from falling tree branches. 
  • If you notice standing water in the gutters, adjust them so they slope slightly toward the downspout and allow water to drain. 
  • Make sure the downspouts funnel water away from your house to prevent water from pooling near your foundation or entering the basement.

2. Remove Debris

In late winter, spring, and fall, it’s important to regularly sweep outdoor surfaces, like patios and door wells to prevent debris from collecting and clogging exterior drains. You may also want to cut back on bushes, shrubs, and other foliage around your foundation, as this plant life can prevent airflow and cause moisture issues that encourage the growth of mold.

3. Check for Roof Damage to Prevent Water Damage

Check for Roof Damage to Prevent Water Damage From Heavy Rains

Check for shingle damage and loose flashing that can be worsened by heavy rains. There are three kinds of shingle damage you should look for:

  • Missing or cracked shingles: This damage will likely increase during a rainstorm and can lead to serious water damage.
  • Moss on your shingles: This can cause dry rot or rust and further damage to your roof when combined with heavy rains. If you see moss, gently scrub it off with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Black grit in your gutters: If you see several inches of black grit in your gutters, it can indicate that your shingles are deteriorating. You may need to contact a roofing contractor in this case.

After checking for shingle damage, you should check your roof’s flashing. The flashing is a thin, typically metal material that prevents water from entering openings and cracks in the roof. You’ll usually see it where your roof and outer walls meet. If this flashing is loose or looks like it is pulling away from the outer wall, it can cause roof leaks. You can use outdoor caulk or waterproof tape to seal loose spots.

4. Seal Windows and Doors

Windows and doors that are not properly sealed can allow water leakage. Inspect your windows and doors to make sure the weather stripping and seals are in good condition. If you see large cracks between the frame and the house, inject them with insulating foam sealant. You can prevent other leaks by applying a fresh bead of caulking where the window meets the siding. Even a fresh coat of paint on window and door frames can block moisture from penetrating the wood.

5. Install a Sump Pump

Install a Sump Pump

After a few heavy rainfalls, water can collect around your home and enter your basement or go into your sump pit and get pumped back out. You can install a sump pump, which collects water from beneath your home and pumps it away through a discharge pipe. If you already have one, you should check that it’s working properly before the beginning of the rainy season and prevent dirt and debris from falling into the sump pit. A weeping tile can also work together with the sump pit and sump pump to collect groundwater around your home and move it away.

6. Use Smart Water Sensors

You can place smart water sensors throughout your home and basement to get notified on your smartphone about where water is entering your home and what level it’s reaching. Add sensors at low points and problem areas in your home, and use your smartphone to monitor them remotely. Even if you’re not home, you can take action instantly when you receive an alert.

7. Use a Rain Barrel

Rain barrels can range from 30 gallons to 100 gallons and are made of plastic or wood. By using one, you can control the rainwater around your house while conserving freshwater.

Contact DriRite for Water Damage Restoration in Tampa, Florida

Dririte - Water damage restoration service

If you have experienced flooding or another water damage emergency, you should address it right away to prevent secondary damage like mold, rot, and structural issues. The qualified team at DriRite is available 24/7 to provide top-notch water removal and restoration services.

Contact us today to restore your property to its pre-loss condition.

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