In the South, Winter months turn into rainy months and with some trusty rain gear and umbrella, a lot can be learned about the condition of your home’s water management system when it’s raining.
Home inspector’s will scour homes searching for signs of water penetration but usually after the fact. While there are often tell-tale signs of water penetration that can be found once it’s retreated or dried away, there’s no better way to assess areas susceptible to water than when the home is faced with it.
It’s amazing what a twenty dollar piece of gutter or gutter flashing can do to prevent thousands of dollars worth of structural damage that water penetration can create. So the next time its been raining for awhile, take the time to suit up and stroll around your home to ensure that water isn’t spilling over gutters and consequentially exposing your foundation to unnecessary moisture. Make sure that where gutters meet walls or change direction there are adequate flashings to properly direct water away from the wall cladding. Are all of the downspouts flowing well and at least six to ten feet away from the foundation? If your home utilizes concrete washes to funnel water from downspouts away from the house, consider changing these for drains either on surface or subterranean that carry water fully away from the house. Concrete splash plates typically settle towards the home thus allowing water to eventually spill back towards the home’s foundation. Many of today’s popular wall cladding is faux stone or brick, both of which hold water like sponges and do not hold up well over time to direct water exposure. Most manufacturer installation guidelines for these kind of cladding do not rate them for direct water exposure. So overhangs and proper gutter installation and maintenance are crucial elements to keeping your walls and foundation dry.
A simple walk around your home in the rain can save you thousands of dollars down the road if you find trouble spots with your home’s water management system before it becomes a structural issue.