How to Protect Your Home From Heavy Rainfall
Heavy rain can wreak havoc on your home. Severe rainstorms have caused $226.9 billion in damages in the U.S. since 1980. And while many of us are lucky enough to avoid the megastorms that make national news, even your everyday rainstorms can hurt your home if you’re not prepared.
Keeping your home safe from heavy rain involves routine annual maintenance and proactive measures. The key to saving your home from costly repairs is keeping water out of your home and redirecting it away from your property in the most efficient way possible. In this guide, we’re going to show you ten ways you can protect your home from heavy rainfall.
1. Invest In A Sump Pump
Sump pumps are usually located in basements or crawl spaces. They work by pumping water from inside your home and redirecting it outside. If you get caught in a heavy rainstorm, a sump pump could help save you thousands of dollars in water damage repair.
2. Make Sure Your Home Has A Backwater Valve
Even if your home is completely leak-free during a storm, you could still be at risk for a flood. Heavy rainfall can overwhelm your city’s sewer system, causing raw sewage to back up into your home. A backwater valve stops this from happening by effectively limiting the flow of sewage water just one way — out of your home.
3. Stay Up To Date With Insurance
Sure, it’s not a physical thing, but insurance could be a lifesaver if you ever do experience extreme water damage due to a storm. Most homeowners’ insurance will cover the variety of damages that can occur during heavy rainfall. The one exception to the rule is floods. Flood insurance is a separate thing entirely, so if you live in a flood-prone area, try to find a plan that works for you.
4. Have Your Roof Inspected
Your roof is the first line of defense against heavy rain. Any single weakness in your roof will be made exponentially weaker in a major storm, which could lead to a leak in your roof and a major headache down the road. Loose or missing shingles, moss, cracks and rust are all red flags during a roof inspection. Get your roof inspected at least once (preferably twice) a year, in the spring and/or fall. If you have a chimney, get that inspected too.
5. Keep Your Gutters Clean And Clear
Having a healthy roof is only half the battle. You need clear, functioning gutters or else all that water is just going to pool and weaken your roof. Clean gutters of any debris. Look for cracks, rust or loose joints. For good measure, get out a hose, spray your roof down and observe how the water flows through your gutter system. Make note of any leaks, no matter how small.
6. Divert Water Away From Your House
Another big concern during and after a storm is all that water that lands around your home. Depending on the topography of your property, it might all drain away smoothly. In other cases, it might pool there for hours or days, damaging concrete, destroying your landscaping or even flooding your house.
If you notice water pooling around your home after a storm, or cracks forming in your driveway or patio, you probably have drainage issues to deal with. There are a few ways to address the situation:
- Trenches. Trenches can be built in your driveway, in your lawn, or both. From your basic, functional concrete driveway trenches to your more ornate landscape trenches filled with rocks, it’s a great way to redirect water from your property to municipal drainage systems.
- Site Grading. Site grading is the process of changing the landscape elevation around a home to help with drainage. It’s usually done before a home is built, but let’s face it, sometimes things just aren’t done right the first time. Not every property will be able to be regraded, so consider getting a consultation before exploring this option.
- Dry Wells. The third option is a little more interesting. Dry wells are built underground in your property. They are designed to soak up rainwater that seeps into the soil and evenly dispersed to the surrounding soil through tiny holes.
7. Recaulk Your Windows And Replace Your Weatherstripping
If you want to stop rain from coming in through the windows, you need to look into two things: caulk and weatherstripping. Just like with your front door, caulk can degrade over time. Weatherstripping does more than just keep out the cold air and prevent drafts. It also helps your windows keep water outside where it belongs. Replacing both of these vital window components should give you a good seal.
8. Install A Storm Door
Made from aluminum, PVC or other materials, storm doors provide an extra layer of protection from the elements for your front door. Some are full-view models, which have four glass panels. Screen models have two glass and two screen panels. It’s a great way to protect your front door from heavy rain.
9. Give Your Front Door A Fresh Coat Of Stain
Most people think that staining wood just makes it look nicer. But stain has some other functions beyond aesthetic value. A good stain will protect your front door from sun damage, and can even offer some extra protection from rainwater.
10. Re-Caulk Your Front Door For Extra Protection
The seal around your door frame has probably seen some wear and tear over the years. If your front door is letting in a little water when it’s shut tight, it’s time to re-caulk. Caulking is a pretty straightforward do-it-yourself project, or you can call a professional.
There’s no way to avoid the elements no matter where you live. The best way to protect your home is to be sure that your roof, gutters, doors and windows are all in perfect condition to withstand heavy rainfall. And in the event that water does make its way in, being able to pump it out of your home will help mitigate damages.