Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Home Improvement Tips to Prepare You for a Rainy Summer

Ready for the heat of summer? How about the rain? The summer months of June, July, and August often bring rain and lots of it. This can lead to water damage in your home if you’re not prepared. Here are three home improvement tips to help you prepare for the rainy summer ahead.

Inspect Gutters and Downspouts

One of the easiest ways to prepare your home for the summer rain is by making sure your gutters are as efficient as possible. It’s easy to take these for granted, but a little extra attention can go a long way in keeping your home from water damage. After cleaning them of all debris, inspect the gutters and downspouts for leaks and loose fittings.

Time can have an adverse effect on gutter joints, causing them to open up. They can also come loose after being shaken or jostled from below.

Test your gutters and see where there are leaks by turning on a garden hose and placing it inside the gutter. As the water runs through, you will be able to identify any drips and leaks. Also, look for sags and dips where pools of water may accumulate.

Leaks in your gutters will not only rot the wood surrounding them but can also allow water to seep into your crawl space or basement.

Along with any repairs, you will also want to add extensions to the base of all your downspouts. These extensions will carry the water away from your home, protecting your foundation.

Waterproof Your Basement

As your house settles over time, it can develop cracks in the basement walls. If the soil outside is unable to adequately soak up enough water, that excess water can seep into your basement through these cracks.

Not only can a damp basement cause problems for the foundation of your home, but it can also make you sick. Standing water has been known to cause mold, which can lead to serious respiratory problems as well as other health ailments.

Be sure to check for any cracks and leaks in your basement walls and seal them before the rainy season begins. You may also want to consider applying a basement waterproofing sealer to all your basement walls.

These sealers are usually premixed and easy to apply, either by brushing or rolling. After the second coat dries, a watertight bond is formed and will keep moisture from seeping through.

Be sure to look for a sealer guaranteed not to peel, chip, crack, bubble, or delaminate. They should also be environmentally-safe, non-flammable, and solvent-free.

Another feature you may want to add to your basement if you don’t already have one is a sump pump. If you do already have one, be sure to have it inspected before the rainy summer gets here.

Your Roof May Need Repairs

Your roof is perhaps one of the most important elements of your home. Constant exposure to hazardous weather conditions, among other things, can cause damage and deterioration. What better time to inspect it for any needed repairs than in preparation for a rainy summer?

On a sunny day, look up and inspect your roof for any debris that may be piling up. If so, you will need to remove this first. Only then can you inspect the shingles for any curling, buckling, or blistering. You may also find you are missing a few shingles, or a few are broken. Any of these can allow water to seep in.

Also, check around the vent pipes to see if the rubber boots are cracked or worn. If you have a chimney, check to be sure there is a chimney cap, and it is not damaged.

Do you see any patches of moss or lichen? If so, it may indicate that your roof is decaying underneath, something you will want to repair right away.

Other things you will want to look for are rust and cracked caulking around the chimney, pipes, or skylight.

You may want to bring in a professional to fully inspect all the areas of your roof and make repairs if you’re uncomfortable doing them on your own.

Being proactive now can save you time and money later on when those hot days of summer are interrupted by rain. With an efficient gutter system, a waterproof basement, and a reliable roof, you’ll have peace of mind that your home is protected.

Tim Esterdahl

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