Spring Water Damage Prevention Tips

Posted by Matt Buchanan

It’s been a mild winter for many and a wild winter for some (we’re looking at you, Northeast US!). But regardless of where you live, you’re probably ready for summer to get here! But before that happens, we have to remember spring is a busy time of the year for water damage restoration companies like us. So if you live in the north and you’ve made it through another winter without a water loss, don’t count your chickens yet! Below are some of the most common types of water damage losses we see in the spring along with tips on preventing them from happening to your home!


April showers bring flooded basements


flooded-basement-heavy-rainingOk so that doesn’t rhyme, but it’s true. When the clouds break in the spring they usually do so with a vengeance and can dump huge volumes of water. For a home to withstand that type of water in such a short period of time, all systems have to be working perfectly. If you have a chink in your armor, you’ll end up with basement water damage and without flood insurance you’ll be looking at paying for everything out of your own pocket! So what can you do to prevent flooding in your basement from heavy rains?


Inspect, clean & repair (if necessary) your rain gutters

While a roof over your head is the most important thing that keeps you dry, next in the list is great rain gutters. Too many times we arrive at a home after receiving a call from the homeowner that discovered their basement flooded, and right when we pull up we can see the problem: faulty gutters.

bad-gutters-floodingIt’s absolutely imperative that your gutters work properly. Even if you don’t have a basement, if water sits next to your house’s foundation, it can travel through the slab and wick up your walls and soak your floors. So do yourself a huge favor: next time it rains, grab an umbrella and inspect your gutters to make sure they are catching all of the water and that they’re properly carrying them away from your home. If not, the next time there’s a heavy rain you may have an expensive visit from a water restoration service like us!


Make sure groundwater makes its way to storm drains in the street

OK, so your gutters are working properly and depositing water that hits your roof away from your foundation! Congrats, you’ve fixed the biggest cause of basement water damage. But it’s all for naught if the water just ends up draining back towards your house. Every home’s lawn should slope towards the street. If yours doesn’t, you need to grade the slope of your lawn away from your home. If that isn’t possible, you should consider having french drains installed on the outside of your home to get the water away from your foundation and into the storm drains on your street where it belongs!


Make sure your basement sump pump is working

sump-pump-failureOne of the most unfortunate things we see if a home where the owner has done everything right and taken the steps necessary to prevent basement flooding, but their last line of defense fails. We see it all the time, but sump pumps can sit unused for months or years at a time, but when called to action they fail. The result? A call for emergency water mitigation services. Don’t let this happen to you! If you have a sump pump, do 2 things:

() test it to make sure it works. If not, call a professional to troubleshoot and fix any issues (or if you’re handy get online and do some homework on how to troubleshoot your sump pump).

() buy a generator to provide an alternative source of energy in the case your electricity goes out during a storm. While batteries can last for a couple of hours, that’s usually not enough time to collect and dispose of the amount of groundwater that typically sits outside your basement walls during a heavy storm. This is especially true if your basement is finished!

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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