We made it through the frozen days of winter, but now spring is here – and what was once frozen is melting. Warmer temperatures and more daylight bring smiles to people’s faces, but the potentially disastrous effects of torrential downpours and even flooding have the opposite effect. Watch out for the warning signs and get ahead of spring home improvement by preparing your house for rain.
Simply put, there’s more water in the ground. Groundwater is melting, which only happens during the spring. Melting groundwater combined with the natural spring rains bring about exponentially more moisture. As we know all too well, water always seems to find a way to wreak havoc. It can enter slowly through cracks in the foundation or with a bang through a backed up drain that gets overwhelmed with rainwater. But no matter how it gets in, it will cause problems for your spring home improvement plans.
Monitor your basement and understand what to look for in terms of cracks with our encyclopedia of cracks. We recommend looking around your basement once or twice a week. Odor is another big indicator. Even a faint musty smell means there is too much moisture in the air. If you have storage areas, move things away from walls. If boxes are stacked up high, you’ll miss crucial signs, which include damp or wet walls and carpets, efflorescence, wall or floor cracks, condensation on pipes or exposed beams, and leaking windows. And don’t forget about your crawl space!
Make sure you don’t have water pooling against the exterior of your house. Landscaping pitched toward the house is a major red flag of impending water issues. The high point of the dirt should be flowing down and away, but a few different things can cause the landscaping to shift, from snow drifting the mulch away to wind blowing it away. If landscaping has shifted, you can take care of this yourself (mulch or rocks are easily raked or moved back into place) or enlist the help of a landscaper (grass will need to be redug). If you’ve removed any trees or shrubs without refilling the dirt, that can leave a void for unwanted water to enter as well.
Make sure windows are properly sealed. If you’re not sure if window wells are the source of your water woes, we can help diagnose. Gutters are especially important for spring home improvement: make sure yours are functioning correctly and that water is properly draining from your roof. And if you have a house with a detached garage and pavement that comes right up against the house, it’s possible the pavement isn’t pitched, which can lead to the same water pooling problems outlined above.