Water Damage can be a bear. And you don’t have to experience a sudden flood for water damage to affect your home. Over time, continued water damage can weaken your home’s foundation and cause serious structural damage. Wood that has been exposed to moisture can invite pests like termites and carpenter ants that can make a feast of your home. It can also cause mold and mildew, leading not only to the destruction of your home but to possible illness to the people living there.
There are, however, a few things that you can do to minimize the damage that water can cause and prevent some of the serious issues that come with it.
- Maintain proper drainage around your home. This involves items like cleaning your gutters, making sure your downspouts are correctly rerouting water 5-10 feet away from your house. It is also important that the slope of your yard is at least 6 inches over a 10-foot span; this keeps water from seeping right down next to your foundation where it could cause buckling and cracking. And during dry spells, make sure the soil around your home doesn’t get too dry. Long dry spells will cause the ground to shrink; a big rain will make it expand and put large amounts of pressure on your foundation. In a drought, use a soaker hose 6 inches from the foundation until it reaches 3 inches deep to keep the soil from shrinking.
- Test your sump pump regularly. Because we only call upon our sump pumps to work in storm season, we often forget about them the rest of the year. Best practice is to test at least once a year, preferably before the first heavy rainfall, and ideally, to perform several checks during storm season. Here’s a step by step guide to testing your sump pump.
- Proactively check for leaks and fix them swiftly. If a leak is caught and repaired quickly enough, there is a chance that you can prevent any long term damage that may have occurred. Check for dark or damp spots inside sink cabinets, stains on ceilings, drips and toilets that don’t sit firmly on the floor. Once a year, inspect your roof (or have a professional inspect it.) Repair any loose, damaged, or missing shingles, and any cracked caulking and look for leaks around the flashing.
If in the process of inspection, you find water damage, be sure to check carefully for mold, mildew, pests or other secondary damage and have it repaired immediately.
Menold Construction and Restoration has offices in Morton and Normal, Illinois and serves Peoria, East Peoria, Bloomington, Normal, Morton, Pekin, Morris, Washington and 17 Central Illinois counties.