For those of us who live in drought-affected areas, it has been a while since we've seen any sign of rain. It often comes as a surprise then when our roofs and guttering systems spring leaks after the seasonal rains begin. While most of my fall maintenance tasks happen before winter sets in, there are a few maintenance tasks that only become apparent after the first rainfall of the season. Here they are.
Dips in the roof. The roof of your home is designed to protect your home from water which is why standing water on the roof is never a good sign. A few hours after a storm is the time to carefully step out onto the roof and inspect for puddles of water. If you should find standing water, sweep it off the roof with a broom and call a reputable roofing company to make a repair.
Malfunctioning rain gutters. Rain gutters that overflow instead of draining away from your home are either clogged or sloping the wrong direction. If you have a sturdy ladder and a helper, the easiest way to learn why a gutter isn't working is with a visual inspection. Clogs can be removed easily with a bucket and a scooped hand trowel. To check the slope, pour a little water into the gutter to see which direction the water flows.
Need help adjusting your rain gutters? Check out DIY rain gutter maintenance for useful information.
Attic leaks. Climbing up into the attic or the crawlspace after a heavy rain will help you locate leaks in the roof. Blot up any puddles of water you find and place a bucket under the leak until a repair can be made. DIY'ers can make an emergency patch using an aerosol product such as Rapid Patch Roof Patch which will keep out the water until a roofer can be scheduled.
Standing water in the crawlspace. Poor drainage and foundation flower beds can lead to water seeping into a crawl space during a rain storm. To avoid mold and structural damage, remove the standing water as quickly as possible using a Wet Dry Shop Vac. Before calling the pros to install a french drain or a sump pump, first try these DIY fixes:
Turning splash blocks and down spouts outward.
Installing rain gutters in areas where water is draining onto the foundation.
Leveling flower beds that drain towards the house instead of away.
Removing obstructions such as boards, tarps, and railroad ties away from the foundation.
Water around the exterior doors. If water has puddled around one of your exterior doors, chances are that you have a broken seal. Sealing a door is usually a simple fix using self adhesive weather stripping. For large gaps beneath the door, a door sweep that attaches to the base of the door will prevent splashing rain water from entering your home. The DIY Network has easy door sweep installation instructions for the DIY homeowner.
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