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5 Ways to Prevent Outdoor Water Damage

Most homeowners focus on preventing indoor water damage, but you shouldn’t forget about your home’s exterior. The exterior comes into contact with various elements each day which mhttp://water damageakes it very susceptible to water damage. Below you’ll discover five ways you can easily prevent this issue.

5 Ways to Stop Outdoor Water Damage

Clean Your Gutters: Clogged gutters are one of the main reasons for outdoor water damage. If a gutter is filled with debris, it will be hard for water to pass through. This could cause it to spill over the edges or into small cracks in the roof.

You’ll want to be diligent at cleaning your gutter at least twice a year. You might also consider installing a gutter screen. This will trap large debris while allowing water to travel down the gutter.

Detach Hoses: Another thing you’ll want to do is detach any hose near your home. If you leave these tools attached to a water spout, water will leak out of the top or from the nozzle. This can cause standing water that could spread into your home’s foundation.

Plant Vegetation: Sometimes vegetation can cause water damage due to excessive root growth. However, certain options can also prevent it. By planting a variety of short-root trees and bushes around your yard, they can absorb the water preventing it from spreading into your home. Some of the best options include river birch, weeping willow, red maple, inkberry, and buttonbush.

Fill in Foundational Cracks: Foundational cracks can be difficult to see, but they can cause major damage to your home’s structure. If there’s even a slight crack, water can sneak into it. This could cause the foundation to crumble or result in harmful mold growth. Because of this, take some time to inspect your living space’s foundation for cracks. If you find some, fill them with caulking.

Inspect Your Roof: Your roof is designed to be durable, but it can start to wear down after a few years or after becoming damaged due to severe weather. If the shingles start to degrade or there are openings in the roof, it will allow water to seep in.

To prevent this, do your best to visually inspect your roof. Take a walk around the perimeter of your home to see if there is obvious damage, granule loss, or buckling.

Outdoor water damage is a common problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. If you’re concerned your residence might have water damage, in Sonoma County contact RCS. Our team will quickly inspect the problem and get to work fixing it.

Is Your Landscaping Damaging Your Home

Is Your Landscaping Damaging Your Home?

Your landscaping could be damaging your home. Does your basement keep flooding? It may be because of your lawn.

Is Your Landscaping Damaging Your Home?

Water, Water, In Our Yards, and Not a Drop In Our Basements

Rain water has to go somewhere, always. Properly graded and landscaped yards direct this water to desired locations while improperly graded and landscaped yards could allow water to collect in the basement or foundation of your home.

Water flows downhill. You want to ensure that your landscaping slopes so that water goes away from your home and certainly doesn’t pond around the home. 

Landscaping Plants Helping or Hurting Your Home

Flowers, shrubs, and trees can be important players in the moisture level of your yard and, indirectly, your home. If your yard tends to retain a lot of water, thirstier plants can help manage this. On the other hand, too thirsty plants like certain trees growing close to your home, can make the soil too dry and lead to an unstable surface for your home’s foundation.

What To Do If Your Landscaping Is Damaging Your Home

Make sure your downspouts drain away from the home. Most downspouts have a protector underneath to lessen the impact directly under the spout and prevent ponding, but you can further protect your home by landscaping around the downspout to channel the water say 10 feet away.

Consider any gardens up next to your home. Could they be sloped away from the home? Are they retaining too much water?

Consider trees and plants next to the home. You might add or replace plants to optimize the moisture level of the soil around your home.

A bad enough water drainage problem may require professional grading. This is the process of adding, removing, and/or shaping the ground under or around a building. Ensure that your yard slopes downward 10 feet away from your home. 

The Damage Trees Can Inflict On Your Foundation

The Damage Trees Can Inflict On Your Foundation

Ten years ago, that new tree you planted looked great, didn’t it? But now, you sometimes feel that same tree is attacking your house. It’s really close to your house. The roots are sticking up out of the ground and tunneling under your house.

The Damage Trees Can Inflict On Your Foundation

Trees can cause lots of different types of foundation damage. Even if the roots are not growing near your foundation, the roots of large trees soak up a lot of water. Unfortunately, that dries out the soil around your home and over time, causes foundation damage.

Trees + Water + Foundation = Bad

Trees use a lot of water. On a hot summer day, some trees can use as much as 15 gallons every hour. It’s incredible! A large oak tree can draw 50 gallons of water every day.

There are high water demand trees, as well as low water demand trees, so if you’re thinking of doing some spring planting, here are some tips. Plant conifers like cedar, pines and spruce or other trees like beech and birch; all are low water demand.

High demand trees are oaks, maples (especially Manitoba and silver varieties) willows and elms. If you have any of these large and established high demand trees anywhere close to your foundation,  that might spell trouble. Even moderate water demand trees like maples (sugar and red), ash or cherry can create foundation issues, particularly in hot weather.

Because of the moisture taken away by the tree, your foundation can settle on one side but not on the other. The concrete may crack and even collapse without the soil support underneath.

How to Prevent Foundation Damage from Trees

Of course, it’s always best to not plant next to your foundation. But if that is unavoidable, use soaker hoses around the foundation to keep the soil moist. It means a bit higher water bill, but that pales in comparison to what a foundation repair might cost. You might even consider removing landscaping or cutting down any problematic trees.

You can also have tree root barricades installed to stop roots from growing into the foundation. They’ll typically be installed about five feet away from the foundation for trees that are within 20 to 30 feet of your house.

Dog in Rain Sonoma County

Prevent Unknown Water Damage

With the immense amount of rain to be expected from the El Nino season, homeowners in Sonoma Coundy should be prepared for potential water overages or flooding within their crawl space. Knowing how to handle, prepare for, and avoid water issues in your crawls pace can save you an immense amount of money. Ill-prepared homeowners may find that an improperly prepared crawlspace could ruin their foundation, costing them thousands of dollars in repairs.

To help you avoid a crawlspace that is sure to cause problem come El Nino season, here are 4 things to check for:

 

1. Any Cracks in Your Wall or Foundation

 

One of the most common places for water to sneak into your crawl space is through small or large cracks in your wall or foundation. With this in mind, you should always have a trusted professional check the state of these areas before a severe weather season is upon you. Doing so can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

 

2. Broken Water Lines

 

The water lines going to and from your house, as well as your water heater, are extremely important to keep in check. If you begin experiencing a leak, the build up of water can quickly cause issues in your crawl space. In the scenario that a full on break happens in one of the lines, you can expect flooding in the crawl space area. Doing bi-annual checkups for the pipes and general water pressure of your systems is highly recommended.

 

3. Improper Grading of Property or Slopes

 

Generally speaking, a home site is meant to be graded in a way that allows the slope of the ground to direct water away from your foundation and crawl space. An incorrectly set up slope, or a poorly graded area, can cause water to instead flow towards your home, putting you at major risk of flooding during the El Nino season storms.

 

4. Defective Window Wells

 

Crawl spaces are bound to have at least one vent, and in many cases will even have a few windows. If these areas are not secured and properly sealed, rain from the El Nino storm season will quickly make its way into your crawl space area. To avoid this, consider updating the sealing of these areas before the season is upon you. Additionally, simply filling in these windows with concrete can guarantee a leak will not occur during this heavy rain season.