How to prepare and protect your home for the rainy season
Category Helpful Hints
With the summer rains now upon us, now’s the time for homeowners to prepare their homes for the rainy season.
Ensure the guttering outside your home isn't broken or leaking, and clear out any leaves or other debris.
Grant Corry from SA Damp shares some tips…
1. Inspect your roof
As you walk around your home’s exterior, inspect your roof to make sure that it is in good condition. Do this at least twice a year to avoid problems that could escalate into a much greater expense.
To do this, Grant says homeowners should inspect the roof from the ground, and look for signs of damage, sagging and aging.
From there, he says check for skew, lose or missing tiles and any cracks in the chimney. Missing roof tiles mean that your roof is directly exposed to adverse weather conditions.
Grant says homeowners should also look for cracks along the ridge of the roof and along parapet walls. He says damaged mortar joints on ridge capping tiles will result in roof leaks.
Inspect the valleys of your roof (the area of your roof with a downward slope), and make sure that any flashing does not have any holes or rusty spots.
Grant says take notes of any possible problem areas or spots in need of closer inspection and if any issues are found, contact a reputable contractor as soon as possible to avoid moisture leaks inside your home that can weaken your walls or ceilings.
It would be prudent to consider cutting back any trees and foliage that hangs over your house and gutters as their branches and leaves will most likely cause blockages and guttering problems.
2. Inspect your gutters
Grant says gutters are an essential part of your roofing system. He says the purpose of the gutter is to collect and funnel away any water that lands on the roof, taking the water away from the building's foundations, protecting your exterior surfaces and stopping water from entering the home.
Grant says if water penetrates your home, the woodwork will perish, mould will begin to grow, condensation will form and the brickwork will erode. He says damp patches quickly spread and health problems could become an issue.
He says ensure the guttering outside your home isn't broken or leaking, and clear out any leaves or other debris. This will reduce the risk of blockages during heavy rain, which could cause your guttering to overflow and create problems for your home.
Grant says you can use a trowel to scoop out any debris clogging your gutters, or buy a cleaning tool specifically designed for gutters which can be attached to a hosepipe.
Additionally, he says check that there are not a lot of little granules collecting in the gutters and downpipes. Grant says finding granules is an indicator that your roof's coating needs to be resealed and painted.
Homeowners should consider installing a rainwater collection tank and cut back on unnecessary waste.
To reduce the risk of blockages use tight-fitting wire mesh or plastic caps to cover the downpipes. This will allow water through but trap leaves and dirt.
3. Inspect the inside of your buildings
Check all windows and doors, and make sure that both close and seal properly. Grant says if this is not the case, make any repairs or improvements as necessary.
He says check out your ceilings to make sure that you are not experiencing signs of roof or other leakages. Be on the lookout for water rings, mould or dark spots and trails.
Grant says wall or ceiling discoloration could also be an indication that there is a problem. He says black mould spots on your curtains or fabrics could also indicate damp or a high moisture content in the wall.
4. Surrounding trees and foliage
According to Grant, it would be prudent to consider cutting back any trees and foliage that hangs over your house and gutters as their branches and leaves will most likely cause blockages and guttering problems. Additionally, it will reduce the risk of them falling during a storm and damage your home.
5. Collect and recycle water
Grants says homeowners should consider installing a rainwater collection tank and cut back on unnecessary waste.
He says homeowners only really need municipal water for drinking and cooking.
Rainwater is perfect for filling up your pool, watering the garden or washing cars and dogs. Grant says collection tanks come in different sizes and can be connected to the guttering system without much effort. Some tanks have built-in pumps so you could connect it directly to you garden sprinkler systems.
Author: Grant Corry from SA Damp