Protect Your Houston Home’s Foundation from April Showers
From ground covers to large trees, all plants need water to grow and thrive. Although April showers might seem annoying, they’re vital to the survival of many plant species. However, the heavy rainfall and thunderstorms that usually hit the greater Houston area from the spring to the end of summer can also lead to widespread flood damage to properties.In the Houston-Galveston area, the best way to prepare a home for the rainy season is to elevate it above the BFE. If you haven’t done that yet, there are several effective measures you could still take to make sure that your home and possessions won’t fall victim to the rainiest months of the year. Below is a list of tasks we’ve compiled to help you protect your home from water damage.
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Cleaning gutters and downspouts becomes a top priority once spring arrives. To keep your gutters and downspouts flowing properly, you may need to clean them several times during the spring and summer in order to remove tree blossoms, leaves, and other organic matter that can quickly build up and clog your gutter system.
Since debris and dust that build up inside your gutters and downspouts can impede water flow, your gutters may overflow during heavy rainfall. This could cause rainwater to run down your home’s walls and accumulate in your crawlspace or underneath your foundation. If the ground under your home gets saturated with water, it may become very soft and compress under the weight of your home. Over time, this can lead to gaps and cracks under your foundation, followed by differential settlement.
When cleaning your gutter system, be sure to check that it also slopes correctly and there are no signs of damage. You can also install gutter guards, which are meant to keep your gutters and downspouts debris-free.
Find and Seal all the Entry Points in Your Home
Rainwater can get into your home even through the tiniest cracks and holes. So, it’s very important to carefully inspect your foundation, slab, and crawlspace for any signs of damage. If there are any spalled concrete areas, cracks, or holes in your foundation or slab, contact a foundation repair professional to come in and inspect your foundation.
A professional foundation assessment could reveal many underlying issues that may not be obvious to the untrained eye. When inspecting your property, don’t forget to also check your siding/stucco, roof, and chimney for any damage that may allow rainwater to leak into your home. Installing a check valve in your crawlspace, especially if it’s enclosed, and a backflow valve that will stop sewer backups is another great way to prevent water damage to your home.
Consider Installing a Sump Pump
If you have a pier and beam foundation with a crawlspace that’s susceptible to flooding, installing a sump pump can keep your crawlspace and home dry at all times and potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs. Without a sump pump, the rainwater could accumulate in your crawlspace. A crawlspace that stays wet for extended periods of time could eventually lead to a whole host of cosmetic and structural problems throughout the home.
If you already have a sump pump, be sure to check it in the days before a big storm hits to confirm it’s operating correctly. And as power failures are common during severe weather, connecting the pump to a backup power source ensures that it will continue to operate even when the power is out.
Check the Plants and Ground around Your Property
When exposed to heavy rain and strong winds, trees and shrubs can damage your home. You can easily eliminate potential hazards by trimming or relocating any trees and shrubs that may pose a threat to your home.
As well, if you have standing water next to your foundation, make sure that the ground slopes away from your home. If the slope isn’t steep enough, or the ground slopes toward your foundation, regrading your landscape is the most effective and easiest way to direct water away from your home. Also, adding extensions to downspouts will help you keep runoff away from your foundation. If, despite all these measures, rainwater continues to accumulate around your foundation, you might also need to install a drainage system, which will keep the soil around your foundation and crawlspace free from rainwater.
Consider Installing a Dehumidifier in Your Crawlspace
If you have an enclosed crawlspace without vents, installing a dehumidifying system is the last line of defense against potential water damage that heavy rain may cause. Nowadays, you can find a variety of air filtration and dehumidifying systems that can prevent moisture accumulation and mold growth by keeping the air in your crawlspace dry and fresh.
In addition to all these measures, it’s not too late to elevate your home above the flood level. Even though the rainy season has already set in, home lifting can be done in almost any weather. All you need is an experienced crew with the proper equipment. To find out why we’re the best contractor for house lifting projects throughout the Houston-Galveston area, call 713-597-3809 today!
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