Preventing Water Damage Like a Pro - 5 Steps
According to the IICRC, “Water damage can be deceptive.” It gets trapped in the structural cavities of your home - going undetected without a professional moisture meter. When left unnoticed, the moisture continues to damage your home - causing odors, damaging building materials, and creating an ideal environment for mold to grow.
In other words... once you have water damage, you’ll need professional help - you know, like us! So what can you do now to prevent water damage later? You can stop water from coming into your house in the first place by following these 5 tips.
Caulk and seal your windows. Apply caulk to all joints in the frame in addition to the joint between the frame and the wall. This will help prevent rainwater from seeping in. Remember to do this on a dry day! Follow these step by step instructions from energy.gov.
Get out of the gutter. Debris that is. Your gutters help water travel away from your home. When clogged with debris, they are doing the exact opposite of that. Cleaning and/or repairing your gutters and downspouts can be a DIY job, but if you don’t feel comfortable climbing a ladder or just don’t want to mess around, call a professional.
Keep an eye on your sprinklers. First, to make sure the system is working properly and none of the sprinkler heads are broken or leaking. Second, check whether you’re sprinklers are watering your lawn or spraying the side of your home and soaking the foundation. A simple bump with a bike tire can rotate a sprinkler head in the wrong direction.
Keep your trees in check. Around your home, only plant trees that will not damage your foundation. Overhanging trees will help keep your house cool, but can also allow wildlife easy access to your roof and can cause organic materials to take root there. If you see moss or other organic materials up there, call someone to clean it.
Check your roof. We don’t recommend you walk around on your roof - the less you’re up there, the safer you are. But… if you’re already up on the ladder, here’s what you should look for:
Missing or damaged shingles. Although it’s important to look out for these, Trevor Switzer, owner of Gold Key Roofing in Orlando tells us, “Most unwanted water enters through chimneys, skylights, etc. Very rarely will you see any problem in the middle of the roof.”
Cracks around any skylights.
Damaged or missing chimney cap.
Clogged gutters (see #2).
Compromised flashing. Anywhere you have a connection or a joint on your roof, you will have flashing.
Cracked or worn out rubber boots around vent pipes. If you live in Florida, you will most likely have lead boots because of how the harsh UV rays effect rubber. Mr. Switzer tell us, “These lead boots stand the test of time; but if you have overhanging trees, you may catch a squirrel sharpening his teeth there. If this happens, have a PVC cover installed over it”.
Keeping a close eye on your roof really isn’t something you need on your list of things to do. We recommend participating in a roof maintenance program - where a licensed roofer comes out every 3 months to check your roof out. Catching a problem in its early phases, even before water gets it, will cost you much less trouble and money in the end.
Don’t forget! Contrary to popular belief, homeowner’s insurance policies do NOT cover flood damage. You need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Call your insurance agent today to find out how to get covered!
Contact Information: Trevor Switzer 407-851-0680 407-447-5590 (fax) Gold Key Roofing 6021 S. Orange Ave. Belle Isle, FL 32809