It’s great that we’re done with snow and freezing temperatures for a while, but Macomb County area has been getting a lot of rain now that winter is over. We’ve put together some quick tips for you to protect your home from potential water damage caused by the rain.
Your downspout extensions are crucial for protecting your home from rain-based water damage. They divert rain from the base of your home, preventing it from soaking into the ground and leaking into your basement or crawlspace. If you don’t have downspout extensions, you can pick them up at your local hardware store for as low as $15-20, and they are well worth the expense.
This step is by far the easiest, you can often start and finish in 5-10 minutes. Check your existing downspout extensions to make sure they are clear of leaves and other debris build-up that would prevent water from flowing through. You’ll also want to align them so that water exits at least 3 feet from the base of your home. Try to avoid aiming them towards frequently used walkways so you’re not walking through puddles.
The next step in preventing rain-based water damage is to check your actual gutters. This will likely require a ladder. Over time, debris such as leaves, twigs, and shingle granules, can build up in your gutters and prevent water from flowing correctly. Clearing this out will make sure water doesn’t simply flow up and over the edges of the gutters, down towards the base of your home. It can take a little time, but is well worth the effort.
Bonus Tip: If you’re noticing water flowing over the edges of your gutters where there is no downspout, it’s possible that your gutters need to be re-aligned. They are installed at a very slight angle so water flows towards downspouts, but over time they can bend or get weighed down in certain areas, causing water to flow AWAY from the downspouts. If this is happening, it’s best to have a professional re-align or repair your gutters, or just replace them if they’ve outlived their usefulness.
This one might sound a bit unexpected, but checking your gardens and flowerbeds around your home can be very helpful towards keeping rain water out of your basement. It’s important that the dirt against your house is HIGHER than the dirt towards the front of your garden. While rain water will soak into the ground regardless, you want it to hit the ground and run down away from your home, instead of pooling up towards the edges of your home.
While there are plenty of other ways to protect your home from the rain, these three steps can often be taken care of in a few hours on a Saturday without spending a great deal of money. Remember, the underlying theme behind all three of these tips are simply this: Divert water away from the base of your home. Minimizing the amount of water that soaks into the ground around the edges of your home will minimize the chances of it seeping in through cracks, joints, and rod holes.