As temperatures have been warming up, it is a good idea to take stock of your home and determine if there are any issues which have arisen over the winter and spring melt. Look over your basement, exterior of your home, and check for cracks on interior walls from settling or ground movement. Were those cracks there last year, or are they new? What needs to be done? Here are a few tips for preventing damage to your home:

1) Clear out your Gutters!

It’s simple and effective – clean your gutters! Over time dirt and leaves can get into your gutters and cause water to build up, ignoring the entire reason for having gutters on your home. When these blockages occur, the gutters can produce cracks, or water may overflow into your roof. Getting out the ladder may seem a daunting task, but compared to water damage in your house, the potential gains from doing this far outweigh the drawbacks, just make sure to practice safe ladder use! In the same vein,

2) Extend your Downspouts

Your gutters may be doing their job preventing water from running down the walls and into the ground surrounding your home, therefore preventing ground water from entering your home, but if your downspouts are only extending out a foot or two all this is doing is building up that water in one area of your basement. If your downspouts don’t extend at least 6 feet away from your dwelling, consider an extension in order to prevent water from seeping into the foundation. Even consider going further to be on the safe side!

3) Check your Smoke Detectors

This may be common sense, but many people don’t do regular checks on their smoke detectors. Though sometimes just doing the button test is not enough, as there is an end date on the effectiveness of most smoke detectors due to the materials used in them. If you check your smoke detectors regularly to ensure they are still operational, be sure to check if they are still being used within their effective dates. Using myself as an example, I check my detectors regularly, but recently discovered that one was about 3 years past its effective date and, much to my surprise, after holding a match up to it, it did not go off! Many new detectors will beep when they are nearing this date to let you know, but if it is an older unit, you may want to check.

4) Check your Shingles

There have been days in the past weeks and months that have been particularly windy, though not many I have noticed with hail. Regardless, you may want to check your shingles to ensure that they are all still intact and doing what they need to do. Your shingles are your first line of defence against rainwater entering your home, so having them in working order is of utmost importance. It may be advantageous to have an expert out to take a look at your shingles to determine the wear on them, you may be closer to needing to replace than you think, and having this information beforehand will give you time to prepare and have less of a sudden sticker shock when it comes time to replace.

5) Check your Basement Walls

It lends to reason that this may only be possible when your basement is not finished, but make sure to check your basement walls during the early days of the spring melt. Are there any wet spots? Any new cracks? Getting in before there are large issues could be the difference between being flooded and staying dry. Fill in any cracks you find so that no water can enter the premises, and check with Campbell & Haliburton to determine whether you would be covered in case of water entering during a flood, either through the walls or through the windows.

Thank you for reading. I hope you found this informative. If you did, please let us know the next time you are in the office to see us, we always appreciate hearing from our clients, and let us know your stories! In any case of the above points, don’t climb up on your roof if you are not comfortable. Hire a trained and insured professional to do so if need be. Please consider giving us a like on Facebook, and if you like the service we provide please consider giving us a Google review as well! Are there any tips we missed that you feel would be of use to people? You can let me know.  Be watching for new tips for preventing damage to your home in the future!

Best Wishes!

Blaine Petrie

Blaine Petrie