How to Save Yourself Time, Energy and Money from Unnecessary Water Damage

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As we move into the colder, winter months – it is absolutely critical to manage potential water damage and other serious damage that could occur if the proper winterizing maintenance is not taken care of in a timely manner.

Preventing Water Damage

On the exterior of the home, there are myriad ways water can seep through and get into places that could ultimately cause lots of problems.  The main thing you need to keep in mind when preventing water damage from occurring is that as long as water stays away from the home and does not get into crevices and cracks – you are in the clear.  The simplest way to prevent this from happening is to examine all potential problem areas and accordingly either reseal, clean up or adjust the areas.  Water damage usually occurs where there is water penetration due to ill-maintained parts of the home.

The fall season poses a greater risk of clogged gutters and drains, given all the excess foliage blowing around as seasons change.  While cleaning them several times a year is one way to manage this aspect of your home’s exterior, thereby also preventing further back up of water, a simpler way to handle this is to have gutter guards installed in your home.  Depending on whether you install them yourself as a Do-It-Yourself project (about $200, based on the average 200-linear feet of gutter length) or have a professional install them (as high as $3,600 for premium materials used), the expense is well worth it.  The alternative is a major problem that will cost far more to manage if your drains are seriously clogged.

If there is a sizable downslide that channels collected water directly toward your home then you face a huge risk of water damage if there are cracks and crevices in the home’s exterior or foundation.  Examine the exterior and if there are any significant downslides that seem a potential risk, contact a professional landscaper to adjust the area so water is channeled elsewhere and away from the home.

Many homeowners do not realize how great an impact grading has on the potential risk of water damage in a home.  Is there a slope that goes toward your home or away from it?  Managing this is critical so that in case there is a strong thunderstorm or as winter sets in and large pockets of snow and ice accumulate in the valleys of your yard there is no long-term water damage.
When these steps are combined with the proactive measure of installing a back up sump pump for your home, you can easily prevent serious water damage.  Even though there is homeowners’ insurance, prevention is the best technique as it will save you time, energy and money (where there is a deductible).

Tips On Winterizing Your Home’s Exterior

Block any and all visible leaks in the exterior of your home where there is a greater chance of water getting in to dry areas
Shut off the valve that leads water to exterior access points so that when sub-zero temps arrive freezing and bursting pipes can be avoided
Clear out any standing water in existing pipelines such as in sprinkler systems
Chop down, trim and clean up excess dead tree limbs that can potentially clog drains and gutters or interfere with electrical lines
Protect window wells in homes with basements, using plastic shields
Seal concrete driveways, patios, porches and other exterior surfaces such as wood decks