When it comes to property damage, water is by far the biggest culprit. And while Lethbridge is known for its dry, mild climate, we still get our fair share of snow and rain. If you have a basement, or even just a crawlspace, the last thing you want is water on the wrong side of the wall. Even a minor leak can cause costly damage and may even lead to mould.
Fortunately, much of the property damage caused by water can be prevented. The key is to get in the HABIT of homeowner maintenance. It’s that whole ‘ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ thing. Here are 5 quick and easy things you can start on right now to protect your home:
- Every spring and fall, check the grading around your home. The ground should gently slope away from the foundation. Pay particular attention to areas where shrubs and other foliage make the grading difficult to see.
- Check your weeping tile. In newer homes, you can spray water into the pipe that comes up out of the ground from the drainage system (usually near a window well). If the water drains quickly, your weeping tile is doing its job. If not, your weeping tile might be clogged. In older homes, it can be a little trickier to figure out how the drainage system is working. A hydrovac company or a licensed plumber can help.
- Look for cracks in the foundation and get them fixed right away. Even a minor crack that doesn’t appear to penetrate all the way through can cause problems eventually. (And yes, in Lethbridge, most foundations have cracks!)
- Check the caulking on basement windows. If it’s worn and cracked, it’s time for recaulking. Note that the lifespan of most exterior caulking is less than 5 years.
- Watch the eavestroughs when it rains. (You’ll get wet, but it’s worth it.) Make sure the water drains well away from the foundation. (And make sure the kidlets haven’t been tampering with these critical pieces of your home too!)
Doing these simple inspections takes just a few minutes. Yet, if they prevent a basement leak, it’s time well spent! Moreover, when it’s time to sell your home, buyers will appreciate your diligence and care.
For additional resources on this topic, check out the City of Lethbridge Home Flood Protection Page