this great post about ways to weatherize your home this winter. Here in Seattle, we don't get the extreme temperatures that many in the country face, but we do have our fair share of weather-related issues to guard against. During heavy or prolonged rains, water can find its way into your home, resulting in everything from mold and mildew to rot and premature decay of flooring and walls. To keep everything dry this year, add these items to your to-do list:
- Clean out those gutters: You may never know how clogged your gutters are (with leaves and other debris) until they stop working. If rainwater is spilling over the edge of gutters instead of draining properly, it can over saturate the ground around your home.
- Check to make sure that your downspouts are going somewhere: whether your roof water leads to a stormwater system, rain barrel or infiltration pit, make sure the end of the downspouts are properly tied into these systems and haven't come loose.
- Take a look at your basement: many older homes with basements are prone to flooding. Often times, there are no foundation drains or waterproofing on the exterior of the foundation. During heavy rains, the ground outside your home can become super saturated and then water finds its way through basement walls (via hydrostatic pressure). If you have wallboard, carpet or other finish materials in the space, it can be a serious problem. There are different ways to tackle a wet basement and it might be a job best left to the pros.
- Make sure exterior doors and windows are well-sealed: windows and doors that are old or were not properly installed can be prone to both air and water intrusion. Replacing doors and windows can be daunting, but first check to see if a window or door simply needs new flashing or other device that directs water away from the unit itself.
- Check your roof: water tends to find its way inside near punctures in a roof plane (like at chimneys, vent pipes, etc.). If you've had any leaks or discoloration on the ceiling, it's a good idea to have someone assess the situation before a small problem becomes a bigger one.