Last week, we talked about how El Nino is poised to deliver a lot of precipitation to our area, and how rain and storms can drive flood damage in buildings and homes. If you live in a flood-prone area, flood insurance might be a critical tool in protecting your assets, but there are other things you can do to proactively protect your home from water damage.
Take time to inspect, clean and repair downspouts and gutters. Debris can cause water to back up in these drainage areas, and the overflow has to find somewhere to go. Often, that means water pooling on your roof or seeping into your home through the foundation or even the walls. Ensure downspouts and gutters can quickly direct flowing water away from the immediate area around your house.
You can also protect the base of your home with intelligent landscaping. The ground should always slope away from your home and never slope toward your home. Planting certain types of brush in strategic areas can help soak up and direct water while holding the soil together should rushing water be an issue.
Finally, maintaining your roof can help reduce water damage in your home. A leaky roof can cause serious seepage into your home in any type of rainfall. In the deluges that are common with El Nino, you could see more than a leak -- an entire section of your roof could collapse if it is in need of repair already.
While these are some actions you can take to protect your home, homeowners can't prevent every water issue that might occur. Sometimes, issues that lead to water damage are hidden; they can be caused by faults in home construction or by errors that occur during repairs. If water damage occurs because of such errors, you might be able to seek compensation for what can be very large costs associated with repairs and cleanup.
Source: Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipfold, "Protecting Your Home from Water Damage and Flooding," Elizabeth Eckhart, accessed Dec. 16, 2015