St. Louis home owners are no strangers to severe weather and the damage in can inflict on homes and foundations. Downpours, high winds and hail can destroy the integrity of exterior surfaces, crack windows and damage roofs. New damage can create new routes for moisture to find its way to your basement and foundation. While there is no way to stop the weather, there are ways to protect your investment. Before extreme weather arrives, here are some easy things you can do to protect your home, and your wallet.
Before the Storm
Direct water away from your foundation. Downspout extensions should extend five to six feet away from the foundation and direct water well away from the home. Soil should slope away from your home; so should patios and sidewalks. Problem areas can be corrected by simply adding additional soil to low spots. Address small repairs before they become big ones. Maintain the weatherstripping and other sealants around windows and doors.
A thorough cleaning of gutters and downspouts is a must. The Foundation Doctor of St. Louis recommends cleaning gutters and downspouts every spring and fall. If you have a wooded yard, it should be done more often. A problem with your roofs drainage system can leave you with a wet basement, puddles in your yard and damage to your foundation. You might need a trowel, a ladder and some gloved hands to scoop out the vegetation.
After your drainage system is clean, use a garden hose to spray into the downspout, making sure the water flows freely through the drain pipes. Also check the slope of your gutter. Your home’s gutters should drop at least one inch vertically for every eight feet of horizontal length. Anything less could allow rain to run over the edge of the gutter during a storm. You should also inspect the gutters and downspouts to make sure they are well connected and not vulnerable to high winds. Any water pooling around your home is a danger to your foundation.
After the storm
It’s a good idea to walk around your the inside and outside of your home after a rainstorm. Take a quick look for areas with standing water. Are there any foundation cracks, missing downspouts and extenders, overflowing or plugged gutters, leaking window wells? If so, those items need to be addressed immediately. Underestimating or ignoring minor damage to your home can be a major mistake. If you have questions about the integrity of your home, call The Foundation Doctor of St. Louis for your free, same-day, in-home evaluation and estimate.