Protecting your property from rain damage

The seasons are changing here in Cache Valley, Utah. Gone are the sunny days of summer.  Now we enjoy the crisp fall air that Northern Utah feels so fully.

This can new season brings more rain and eventually snow. The beautiful seasons we have come to love in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho can take a toll on our homes, whether they are older or brand new.  Oftentimes, we as homeowners forget what damage the heavy rain and snow can do to some of our homes if we don’t maintain them and prepare for seasons carefully.

Here are a few tips and reminders to prepare your homes for our upcoming season changes.

Caulking  Gutters  Seal Concrete

1. Remove summertime furniture and toys.

During the summer, we love our bench swings, hammocks, and patio furniture. These are expensive pieces of furniture and can get heavily damaged if left out during the wet and cold days ahead.  Be sure to remove and store such property in a safe, dry place so that you may continue to enjoy them for years to come. Remove cushions and store out of the weather also. Cover grills, fireplaces and all Air Conditioning units.

Be sure to turn off gas connections.  Clean and store your children’s toys out of the weather for a longer life of fun and entertainment.

2. Seal and proof your home

Remember, prevention is better than the cure. During our extreme temperature changes, the caulking in your home really gets put to the test with expansion and contraction of the materials it has been adhered to.   Take a few minutes and check all the caulkings around windows, doors, gutters and all exterior electrical boxes to make sure that the caulks are in good shape.  Clean and reapply in any weak spots.  Some caulks will not adhere to old caulks or itself and may require a little extra work.   A little super glue can help solve that problem.  Apply some super clue to the areas of caulk that need repaired, let dry and then apply additional caulk to seal the holes.

We would advise walking your roof and checking all flashings and nailings. Also check your shingles for wood pecker damage.  The hot summer months can really damage roofs leaving them susceptible to fall and winter leaking.   As our homes age, annual checkups are critical to make sure that our homes can provide a long life time of enjoyable living. It is much easier to repair any small issues during these fall months than during a rain storm or after snowfall.

Cleaning out and re-caulking all joints in your gutters will direct rainwater to its proper place.   Make sure all downspout ends are delivering the water away from the home and not into window wells.  We recommend installing downspout extensions.

Install any heat tape where you may have potential for ice buildup.  We advise not using Christmas light outlets that operate on timers for providing your heat tape power.  The on and off sequence will only cause additional ice buildup with heat tape.

3. Tidy up your yard 

Drain and blow out all sprinkler systems to prevent freezing and cracking.  In older homes that do not have anti-freeze water spigots, turn off and drain all exterior water spigots.  Remove all hoses from water spigots.  If you need and use water throughout the cold months, detach your hoses from the spigot after each use.  We have seen too many basements flood due to not removing hoses and allowing the water to freeze up the hose and back into the house causing split and broken pipes.

Cleaning and sealing your exterior concrete should be done annually throughout Davis, Weber, Rich and Cache counties.  Do to the thawing and freezing each day throughout the fall and winter months, water can take a toll on our concrete.  By sealing each year, you can keep destructive actions of water out of our concrete, while also sealing it from the damaging effects of fertilizers and salts.

Not many people think about sizing down a large tree in their yard when it comes to preventing rain damage, but with rain also comes wind. Wind and rain have the potential to take advantage of a wayward branch and force it down upon your house doing damage that regular rainfall could only dream of. Even though this scenario is less likely than the others, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry here.

4. Be weary of surface flooding

One of the most important things to check throughout the year is the grading of the soil around your home. Check the slope and grading, making sure that your grading around the home pushes all water away from the home.   Settling around your home is expected.  Make sure that additional soil is added where needed, just adding additional bark is not enough.  Move the decorative barks and add soil below and then reapply the barks.  Most barks drain water as easy as gravel which just allows the water to drain quickly to the soil below which may be sloped toward the basement or home and will most likely overtime leak into the home.

Check all window wells and ensure that they drain way from the home.  If you live in a Mt Sterling Custom Home, ensure that your window well drains and gravels are clean.  Over the summer months, landscape barks and soil can be blown into the wells, clogging the gravel and drains which may leave your home susceptible for potential water buildup in the well.

This is a pivotal time during the year for all of us to check and prepare our homes for the fall and winter seasons. Here at Mt. Sterling Custom Homes we take pride in not only building the best quality homes but also maintaining them to allow for years of enjoyment. For more information or questions about protecting or maintaining your home in Cache, Weber, or Rich County this season, be sure to contact us.