April Showers Bring Flowers…and Water Damage
Heavy rains and warming temperatures in April bring about new blooms in May, but they can also cause unexpected water damage. As the weather warms up leading into spring, rapidly melting snow can quickly become a flooding hazard on the roof and near the foundation of your property. Additionally, April is known for frequent rain storms, which can put your home or business at a higher risk for water damage.
This month, while you’re already spring cleaning your house, updating your landscaping and doing yard work, make sure to add these steps to the checklist to avoid the major headache – and costly repairs – that water damage can cause for property owners.
1. Inspect the foundation and roof. Melting snow and heavy downpours can quickly become an issue if the roof and foundation aren’t in top shape. Perform a visual inspection of the outside of the property, looking for cracks and holes that can potentially lead to water leaking into your home or business, and can even cause mold growth. If you notice any water stains on the ceiling, this could also potentially be a sign that the roof has a leak.
2. Clean out gutters. Free gutters and downspouts of debris that could block rainwater from flowing off the roof. Downspouts should extend five to six feet from the building and be directed away from the foundation to avoid potential flooding in the basement.
3. Upgrade the landscaping. Ensure the ground has a slope of at least six inches and the landscaping is regraded to drain water away from the building. Clay or a non-porous soil should comprise most of the soil around the building, particularly near the foundation. Trim trees and bushes close to the home or office to prevent excess water from collecting near the building. Cut down any branches hanging over the roof that could possibly cause damage during a storm. This will also prevent critters from climbing on the roof and causing less noticeable damage.
4. Consider installing a sump pump. If water often backs up into the basement or any other rooms that sit below ground level, look into having a sump pump installed. It will channel water away from the building’s foundation and prevent water damage. It’s also important to have a generator or a battery-operated backup sump pump in case of a power outage. If you already have a sump pump installed, check to make sure it is still working properly to prevent an avoidable loss. If flooding continues to be a problem, consider installing a water alarm that warns when the basement has started taking on water.
While the excitement of spring and warmer weather can sometimes distract from the essential prep needed at home or the office, delaying these steps can be costly. In fact, just one inch of water in a 1,000-sq ft. building can cause damages exceeding $10,000. Don’t let water damage dampen your excitement this spring. Be sure to add these steps to your spring cleaning now to help you avoid expensive repairs to your property later in the season.