The recent rains have caused a lot of water damage issues in our homes. I hope you have made it through without incident, but for those that do not know what to look for, here are some of the common areas to be concerned about.
ROOFING- Winds that blow off shingles open the roof surface to possible leakage. Check for any missing shingles and replace them as soon as it is noticed. Hopefully you kept an extra bundle of your shingles in the garage or shed for just this possibility. Roof leaks should be repaired immediately and you should also have the attic insulation checked for possible mold growth. Only after the problem has been corrected should you have the drywall patched up and repainted.
CLOGGED GUTTERS- Down spouts that get plugged can cause siding and trim issues and in some cases water can even get in behind siding making its way through wall insulation and into your sheetrock and carpeting. Make sure your downspouts are clear and free flowing. Gutters plugged with leaves and sticks can cause water back up and leakage behind fascia and soffit boards and again, ceiling and wall leaks.
CRAWLSPACES- Check to make sure your crawl space is dry and dusty. Go down there and crawl around corner to corner. The soil should be firm and dry. Any puddles or mud is not a good thing and the source of the water intrusion must be identified and corrected. Many times it is a downspout dumping into a flower bed or a landscape that is not draining away from the house. Try adding downspout extensions to take gutter water way out into the yard. In severe cases, you may need to have a (And this term is often misused-) “French Drain” installed to keep the crawl space dry.
BASEMENTS- Leakage often occurs at the seam between the slab floor and the foundation wall. The other common place is where “Snap Ties” were installed to hold the forms when the concrete was placed. If your walls and floor are visible you can see the entry points and can address the issue. The causes are similar to what is mentioned above in the Crawlspace blah blah blah. However, if there is a more critical issue, like improper soil compaction around the foundation, or severe leakage, the solution could require deep excavation and perforated pipe collection beds around the foundation to carry away water. Yup, this one gets expensive real quick.
FLATWORK- Driveways, patios, and sidewalks are usually made of concrete. They are designed to slope away from the nearby structures. When grade is “negative”, water migrates to the structure, not away from it. This can cause erosion and settling of the slabs and in some cases cracking. What commonly causes this is an improper preparation of the base soil and compacted sand and gravel (Road Mix) that is under the concrete. “Mud Jacking” is a slang term for the process of injecting a slurry grout under the slabs and actually hydraulically lifting them back into position. While not inexpensive, it is often less than replacing the concrete but only works on non-cracked flatwork.
Take a few minutes and inspect your home. Hopefully all is nice and dry.