Prevent Spring Flooding: How to Prevent Spring Floods and Water Damage
Spring is just around the corner which means it’s almost time for spring cleaning. In addition to cleaning, you should also perform some general maintenance to prevent spring flooding and water damage. Cold temperatures, ice, and heavy snowfalls are really hard on your home. Our spring maintenance checklist will help prevent water damage and keep your home in great shape. Whether you work a few minutes each day or set aside an entire weekend, a simple home inspection after the last frost of the season can help you spot damage before it becomes an issue. It might just save you from flooding during the heavy spring rains and keep expensive heating, cooling, and plumbing systems running longer.
How to Prevent Spring Flooding and Water Damage
1. Check Your Basement for Cracks and Leaks
Inspect your foundation and basement floors for cracks, gaps, and other damage. Repair cracks with a layer of hydraulic cement and seal small gaps with caulk or construction adhesive. Other signs of potential water damage are stains, peeling or chipped paint, discoloration, and mold. If moisture is only a minor issue, consider improving ventilation or using a dehumidifier. For larger issues, you may need to waterproof your home. Also, look at woodwork for signs of insects that can bore into wood.
2. Inspect Your Attic for Ice Damage
Check your attic, insulation, and the underside of your roof for ice damage, holes, gaps, wet spots, and mold. Repair damage to your roof and roof decking to prevent water from entering your home. While you are in your attic, also look for signs of insects, rodents, and birds. Make sure that your attic has good ventilation and vents are not obstructed in any way. Consider adding extra insulation to reduce heating and cooling bills.
3. Test Your Sump Pump
If you have a sump pump, clean the sump basin to prevent spring flooding. Removing debris from the well will ensure proper drainage. When placing the pump back in the well, make sure that the float is working properly and not obstructed. If you don’t already have one, you may consider adding a battery backup to ensure the pump works during a power outage.
4. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Improper drainage fro your gutters and downspouts can cause water to pool around your foundation. While a spring rainstorm is unlikely to flood your home, consistent water around your foundation is likely to cause water damage. Prevent spring flooding and water damage by checking your gutters and downspouts connections. Clean out leaves, twigs, and debris that may cause backups. Downspouts should drain away from your house, so add extensions if necessary. Cleaning gutters on a single-story house is relatively easy, but you may consider hiring professional cleaners if you have a multi-story house. You may also want to add gutter guards that prevent clogs.
5. Inspect Your Roof for Damage
Your roof is often the first line of defense against water entering your home. Roof damage will shorten the lifespan or even lead to future water or storm damage. Inspect your roof, shingles, flashing, eaves, overhangs, and soffits for signs of ice dams or other damage. Whenever possible, use a ladder to inspect the edge of the roof along the gutters. The most common signs of ice dam damage are visible roofing nails and gaps between the roof decking and the shingles. If you can’t reach your roof, use binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens to get a better look. If possible, inspect the inside of the roof for signs of water. Contact a professional roofer to have minor damage repaired before it becomes a significant problem.
6. Look for Chimney Damage
The chimney is another common place for spring water damage to occur. If possible, climb up on the roof to inspect your chimney for damage. Alternatively, you can use binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens to get a better look. You should also check your chimney inside your attic and basement for signs of leaks or damage. A chalk-like powdery coating indicates that the mortar between bricks is absorbing water instead of protecting against it. For small areas, you can apply masonry sealer, but you should contact a professional chimney sweep for larger areas.
7. Seal Your Exterior Walls
Examine exterior walls for damage or deterioration could allow water to enter your home. Fill gaps in siding with caulk and fix cracks in brick or stucco with masonry sealer, hydraulic cement, or plaster. This will also help keep insects, rodents, and birds out as well. Consider using a pressure washer to clean exterior surfaces.
8. Weather Proof Windows and Doors
Water can also enter your property through gaps in windows and doors. Make sure that windows and doors form a firm seal. Replace weather stripping and fill gaps and cracks with caulk. You can also remove storm windows and replace them with screens. Check your screens for damage that can allow insects and other pests into your home. Patch holes or replace window and door screens if they are damaged.
9. Inspect Sprinklers and Irrigation Systems
Look at sprinkler heads and valves for damage and repair or replace as necessary. Turn on sprinkler systems and adjust sprinkler heads so they are evenly watering plants without creating pools or spraying your house. Replace worn or damaged irrigation lines and hoses.
10. Inspect Driveways and Sidewalks
Cracking or shifting driveways and sidewalks can indicate water problems underground. Check asphalt or concrete driveways and sidewalks for cracks, especially along the foundation. This can allow water to pool around your foundation or enter your basement. You can repair small cracks with a sealer, but fixing large cracks will require professional assistance.
Other Spring Maintenance Tips
While these tips won’t prevent spring flooding or water damage, they will help extend the life of heating and cooling systems and prevent fires.
- Schedule spring maintenance for your air conditioner and hot water heater
- Replace the filter on your heating system every 3 months
- Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries every 6 months
- Check that your fire extinguishers are in proper working order and replace as recommended by the manufacturer
Water Damage Restoration Services
Restoration Local is the nationals largest network of restoration contractors. If you have flooding or water damage from spring rains, we have a local restoration company for you. Find a local water damage restoration company now or call 1-888-443-3110 to speak with our on-call contractor in your area. Our on-call contractors offer 24-hour emergency services, 30-minute response time, and free, no obligation estimates for any type of water damage.