Water Damage Prevention for Travelers
While summer is a great time to enjoy much-needed rest and relaxation, it also is a good time for completing house projects – especially if you have upcoming travel plans. Taking time to complete maintenance on your home can prevent damage if severe weather conditions occur while you’re away from home. Here are four essential summer home check-ups:
Prevent Water Damage
- Start with your foundation by checking your basement for cracks and leaks. Build up dirt or place grades outside your house to direct water away from the foundation. If the dirt has settled around your house, water will start running toward your home. As a general rule, a grade of one-inch-per-foot will ensure proper water runoff.
- Check your gutters for breaks or low spots that allow water to pool near the house. These leaks will eventually erode the area underneath the damaged gutters, leaving water close to your foundation. While inspecting your gutters, check the downspouts. You’ll want to direct water away from your house by three feet or more. This can be done with a gutter extension or splashguard. Don’t forget to remove leaves and debris as well.
- Inspect your trim around windows and doors for cracks, leaks, or wear in the caulking. Replacing the worn caulk will protect your house from leaks that result in mold and wood rot.
- If your roof is older, you should examine its shingles and flashing for wear. Depending on the type of roof you have, you should look for different signs of problems. Educate yourself on your roof and determine whether you’re comfortable assessing it or you need to call a professional for an inspection.
- Trim Trees and Shrubbery to clear limbs that touch your house. Over time, the wind will cause these to rub on your roof or siding, resulting in severe damage that could be costly to repair.
Check your HVAC system
- Change the air filters in your furnace, so the system runs efficiently.
- Clear away grass, leaves, and debris from the condensing unit, which could cause it to malfunction. Follow the directions in your user’s manual to learn how to clean the outdoor unit properly. There are many different techniques, so it’s important to know the recommendations for your specific unit.
Protect the wood on your deck
- Seal your deck with an outdoor wood stain, sealant, or paint to ensure its longevity.
- Remove dirt and grime with a power washer or deck cleaner before you apply the product, or it won’t adhere properly to the wood.
- A well-maintained deck should last most of your lifetime; a neglected deck may only last a few years.
Defend Against Unwanted Pests
- Check the caulking around doors and windows, both inside and out, to ensure your house is properly sealed.
- Replace cracked or worn weather stripping on doors.
- Spray the outside of your home — around the foundation, windows, and doors — with a preventative insecticide, creating a perimeter the bugs won’t cross.
- On the interior of your house, spray around baseboards, doors, windows, under sinks, and in the corners of rooms.