Top 9 Tips to Prevent Water Damage (Part 1)

Part 1: Protecting Your Home From the Outside

Five pump hoses pumping water outside Did you know that 40% of all home insurance claims are due to water damage? Here are some tips on how to keep your home dry and safe.

  1. Inspect your roof: Make sure your roof is in good condition and that the shingles are secure.
  2. Keep gutters free of debris and leaves. Repair them if they show signs of sagging.
  3. Inspect your gutters’ capacity. If water overflows the gutters after 15 minutes of heavy rain, you should install additional downspouts.
  4. Extend downspouts. They should be at least 10 feet away from the house; otherwise, water from the downspouts could leak into your basement.
  5. washer and dryer Install a backwater valve: Connect backflow valves and standpipes at all basement drain locations, including sinks and toilets.
  6. Install a sump pump: Help prevent basement flooding by installing a sump pump that has a battery backup. If you already have a sump pump, make sure you test it regularly.
  7. Check your foundation. The right soil grade can prevent basement leaks before they start by directing the water flow away from or around the house. The first rule to grading is: the soil should always slope away from your home.
  8. Make certain your window wells are debris-free: At least once a year, check that all of your windows and doors are secure, and re-caulk as needed to prevent water seepage.
  9. Ensure street catch basins are not blocked: These prevent snow from building up on the street level, protecting water from seeping towards your property.

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Photo credits

Five pump hoses pumping water outside © 2011 Matt Wade, CC BY-SA 2.0
Washer/dryer, both no longer working © 2011 Matt Wade, CC BY-SA 2.0