The importance of managing surface water
Managing surface water around your home is very important when it comes to maintaining your home. Water is extremely important on our planet, without it we would not have life. However, when it comes to your home, water can cause many problems. Water penetration into your home can damage interior finishes, structure and seriously affect your health if allowed to occur long enough where mould and other organisms can grow. It also can invite pests as well.
As we enter the spring season we will encounter increased days of rain, some days this rain will be accompanied by high winds. This is the time to get out your umbrella and see how surface water behaves around your home. It is also important to see how your Roof and Gutter systems perform in shedding and collecting that water away from the building. The basic rule is keeping water away from the exterior perimeter. Keeping this in mind, it is good practice to go outside during a rainfall and look at your gutters and see if there are any leaks that need to be repaired and make sure your downspouts have extensions on them and are displacing the water 4-6 ft(1.2m-1.8m) away from your home. Also, check to see if there is any water pooling or draining backward toward your home’s foundation. If so, you will need to regrade the soil so that water sheds away from the home. Keeping water away from your foundation wall minimizes the probability of water making its way into your basement. If you have window wells for your basement windows, then removing debris and cleaning them is important. To reduce having to do this, you may look into getting window well covers. Furthermore, try to maintain a 6″ distance from the gravel to the bottom of your window sill.
All these small practices help keep water out of your basement and help preserve your exterior. It is also a great idea to have a look at your roof as well and check for any damaged or deteriorated shingles. Your roof tends to take a beating during the winter months from snow, ice, and wind. Sometimes, shingles are blown off. Grab a pair of binoculars and look at your Roof and see if you can find any damaged shingles or tabs that are missing. I always like to recommend an annual or biennial tune-up by a professional roofer who is trained to work at heights and can have a better look up close of your roofing system and safely make any necessary repairs, or simply reapplying sealants to exposed nail heads or flashings; such as, around chimneys. These tend to dry and crack with time.
I hope these tips will give you something to think about and help raise your awareness of your home and what is necessary to keep it in good condition so that you may enjoy it for many years to come. Home maintenance is just like maintaining your car; the more you take care of it, the longer it will last with minimal headaches.
Antonio Coelho NCI RHI
Ancoe Property Inspections