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Preparing Your Home for Heavy Rains

By Renovate Your World
4/8/2014 11:09:22 AM

Although precipitation can fall at any time of the year, Spring in particular is a time of heavy, pounding rains. Flooding is obviously one threat to your home during these weather events, but it's not the only one. A combination of long-lasting rain, lashing winds and other forces can really put a beating on the home and can cause a handful of insidious-but ultimately preventable-issues as well.

Here's a short guide to prepping your home for the heavy rains ahead.

Credit: Flickr/whatleydude

Ready Your Roof

Your roof is your first and best line of defense against the elements, rain in particular. Age, weathering, improper installation or faulty flashing are all potential ways that heavy rain can penetrate these defenses. To ensure that your roof is up to the task, take the following steps.

Conduct a ground level roof inspection. Using a pair of binoculars, stand away from the roof to get a good view and look for shrinking or curling shingles as well as shingles that are slipping out of place. Take a look at flashing as well.

Conduct a rooftop inspection. This will require a ladder and potentially some sort of anchor + rope system. If your roof is steeply pitched, consider a professional for this step. Once on the roof, you'll have a better chance of getting a thorough inspection of the flashing. You'll also have a chance to inspect gutters, plumbing boots, satellite dish installations, etc.

Additional roofing resources to consider:

How to Inspect and Repair Your Roof

How to Prevent and Fix Roof Leaks

Gutter Control

While you're up there on the roof, take some time to inspect the gutters. You should be cleaning these routinely, particularly after the fall. Leaves and other debris can clog up gutters and downspouts, causing a whole mess of rain-related issues. Improperly functioning gutters will fail to move water away from the home and the home's foundations, which can lead to water infiltration at the foundation level.

Clearing debris is step one. You'll also want to check all the seams and make repairs if necessary. Ensure that the gutters themselves are properly affixed to the home and won't easily tear away in high winds.

Lastly, make sure that all downspouts are in proper working order and are directing rain water away from the foundation of the home.

Additional gutter inspection and repair resources:

How to Inspect and Repair Gutters

Shore Up Siding

Siding plays a key role in keeping out the rain. But siding-like roofing-doesn't last forever. Also, heavy winds and horizontal rains can drive water up under the siding, so it's important to take a few steps to make sure this major player in the home's defenses is up to the task.

Click for more tips on protecting your home.

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