Your home’s weak points from rain

Posted by Matt Buchanan

Now that spring is in full effect, we’re seeing more and more flood losses due to heavy rains. And while these flood damages can look very different, there are some common areas of the home that are more prone to attack from rain water when the clouds break. So let’s look at some of those areas of weakness, discuss what happens to cause problems, and what you can do to prevent (well, at least help reduce the risk of flooding happening…there is no surefire step(s) to take that will ensure your home is impervious to heavy rains).

 

Where does rain water attack a home?

 

Any section of your home can become a victim of rain water intrusion, but the reality is there are certain sections that are much more prone to attack than others.

 

The roof

 

damaged-roof-shinglesLet’s discuss the most obvious entry point first: the system that takes the biggest beating when heavy rains come down. Your roofing system protects you from the elements and is designed to shed water away from your house (in concert with your gutter system). But even the smallest problem with your roof can cause big problems when a heavy rain occurs. Just one damaged or missing shingle can allow hundreds of gallons of rain into your attic and walls should a sustained period of rain hit your area.

We’ve written about it before, but it’s extremely important that you inspect your roof at the end of winter and before the spring rains hit so that you can identify and fix any problem areas before they’re asked to stand up to the pressures of spring rains. Assuming you can safely do so, replacing a damaged shingle is not that difficult and can end up saving you a ton of money should it prevent a flooding situation.

 

Window seals

 

How long ago were your windows installed? A lot of times the window unit itself can stand up to the constant attack of rain, but the sealant used to install the window can erode over time. It’s always a good idea to check your windows’ seals pre-Spring to make sure they aren’t cracked or beginning to peel away from the home. If so, here is a quick video showing how you can easily replace the caulk sealant inside your home. (It’s important to note that you also need to check the seals for the outside of the window too!)


 

 

Main plumbing drain

 

sewer-backup-heavy-rainsThis is the most overlooked problem, and sadly one of the more common types of flooding damages we see in a home. Basically what can happen is when it rains a lot (if your city is serviced by what is known as a combined sewer system), the main pipe in the street can become overloaded with rain water. As an escape from the flooded pipe, the water goes wherever it can. The easiest place for it to go is any pipes that tie into the line it’s in. That’s your home’s main drain pipe. So the water shoots back up your pipe and into your home, bringing with it raw sewage and a host of dangerous pathogens that can quickly make your home a cesspool of disease causing agents.

The most effective way to prevent such a scenario from taking place is having a licensed plumber come to your home to install a backflow valve. These are installed as the first fitting outside your home (where the pipe exiting your home ties into the pipe running below your lawn is) and are designed to detect when water is coming backup the pipe and release a valve that will then act as a barrier to stop the water from entering your home. While it isn’t foolproof, it can greatly diminish the threat of a backup issue when heavy rains come.

 

Basement walls and floors

 

You see this type of flooding damage most often when an area is hit with sustained rain storms over the course of multiple days, or when back to back storms batter an area. What happens is the water table (meaning the water that has seeped into the ground in the area around the home) becomes fully saturated. The pressure of this water on the concrete walls and floors of the basement become too much, and the water begins to seep into the basement through these barriers. Yes, concrete is porous and as such will allow water to pass through it!

interior-tile-drain-systemHow can you protect your basement against this type of attack? There are a couple of options. One is to install interior drainage tiles that will collect this groundwater and transport it through corrugated piping and release it a safe distance from the home. The other method is to have a sump pump installed in the lowest area of your basement. The catch basin will collect any intruding water and the pump itself will pump the water away from the home. If you have a nice finished basement and live in an area prone to flooding, we strongly suggest you have a basement waterproofer come out and perform an assessment to discuss the best methods for waterproofing your finished basement in the event of rain storms.

 

Do you have flood damages from recent rains?

 

If so, we would be grateful for the opportunity to survey the damages and offer our recommendations for how to most cost-effectively repair them. Call RestorationEze today and we’ll send out the closest on-call crew to fully assess the damages and provide you with a free cost estimate. And best of all, we use industry-standard pricing and back all of our flood damage cleanup services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Just give us a call and we’ll be on our way!

 

About Matt Buchanan

I grew up in Irving, TX and left for Nashville, TN for college. After college I lived in Washington, DC and then in Cairo, Egypt. After coming back to the states, I spent a couple of years back in Dallas before moving with my wife to Denver!
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