Winter is coming; prepare now for the spring thaw. Get tips on reducing the possibility of water damage to help protect your home and property.
Tips To Reduce Possible Water Damage
Help protect your home and property
As the cold of fall and winter settles in, most are consumed with the worry of snow. Why? Because spring happens. It’s inevitable. For most people who inhabit the frigid winter areas to the north, it is eagerly anticipated, with days marked off on a calendar and seedlings warming in a window. Every day there is still snow on the ground, they measure it, marking the thaw.
No matter where you live, however, spring thaw means rivers can overflow and flood. Even without a river overflowing, days of spring rains or even snow melting around the foundation of your home can cause flooding. That’s why autumn before the snow falls or winter rains begin, is the perfect time to protect your home and property from potential water damage.
From the Bottom Up
When cleaning your house, you probably start at the top and work your way down so when you clean your ceiling fan blades, you can vacuum any dust that falls. However, a house is built from the foundation up so the builder knows it will be on solid ground. When protecting your home from potential water damage, you want to make sure your foundation stays firm.
You may have already taken steps to direct rain gutters away from your foundation, but you can also take advantage of low spots on your property by creating a dry creek bed. This can direct water away from your house. You can also try a rain garden in the low spots, which uses native plants that love the occasionally soggy soil. You may even install an underground pipe that drains water buildup in a low spot even farther away. If water persistently builds up on your driveway and flows into your garage, consider re-paving with gravel or pavers that allow water to get into the ground below.
Sometimes, no matter how much you try to protect your foundation, spring thaw can still cause basements to flood. As soon as you can, turn off all electricity to the house before you step into standing water in the basement. Remove the water as quickly as you can to prevent mold and other bacteria from growing in the damp walls and floor. Items that have been waterlogged need to be dried out or disposed of, including baseboards, furniture or carpeting.
In Over Your Head
Before snow or ice prevents you from getting to your roof’s rain gutters, make sure they are cleared of any debris that would block melting snow from draining off, or cause ice to build up and lift shingles. Inspect the ceilings in all rooms of the house, especially inside closets where water stains may be hidden until the damage has become significant. Look for any discoloration in ceiling paint. Windows should also be inspected for water leaks which can run inside walls undetected and lead to mold growth.
Skylights, chimney flashing, and vents in the attic can also leak unnoticed until there is significant damage to a ceiling. Look for signs of moisture or rust around any ceiling vents, or vents that persistently drip water when it rains. Have your attic inspected periodically, especially along joists that may allow water to run from the actual leak to another part of the attic. Indications of water leaks in the attic can be dark stains on wood, mold or obvious water.
It’s important to remember that damage also doesn’t necessarily just exist inside your home. Have you been wondering why your garden doesn’t bloom each spring and summer? The flow of water in your yard could be impacting your plants negatively if they’re getting too much (or not enough) due to the slopes and dips of your yard.
Protecting your home and garden from potential water damage can be as simple as creative landscaping and routine inspections. Preventing mold from water damage is always much easier than removing mold after the fact.
Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!
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