How To Leak-Proof Your Home: A Step-By-Step Guide
If you’re a homeowner, leaks should be your worst nightmare. They cause nothing but problems. Most notably, they can lead to water damage. Excess moisture will ruin your belongings and your home’s structural integrity. This will force you to replace items. Or, you’ll have to cope with the loss of irreplaceable belongings. It will also cause you to spend thousands of dollars on repairs.
If you weren’t aware of the risks of a leaky home before, you are now. So, how do you avoid these problems in the future?
The best thing you can do is leak-proof your home. Not sure where to start? Check out this guide! By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to being a more proactive homeowner.
Step 1: Clean Your Roof
Throughout the year, debris accumulates on your roof and causes water to pool. This can result in leaks and damage to your home’s structural integrity.
So, it’s important to clean your roof. You should do this at least once a year. In some cases, you may be able to do it yourself. However, it’s best to call a team of professionals, like All Dry USA. This is a dangerous job that’s better left to professionals.
However, if you decide to climb your roof, be sure to use a sturdy ladder. A 4-legged aluminum or fiberglass ladder should work for one-story homes. If you have a two-story home, use an extension ladder.
Once you’re up, it’s time to get to work. Rake off debris using a special roof rake. You should also clean out the gutter. Scoop out debris and wash out the gutter with a hose. You’ll know that the gutter is clog-free when water flows smoothly out of the downspout.
Keeping your roof free of debris will go a long way. It will prolong the life of your roof and save you thousands of dollars. It will also keep your home safe from water damage.
Step 2: Inspect Your Roof
While you’re on your roof, you shouldn’t just clean it. You should also inspect it.
Inspecting your roof will help you catch minor issues before they turn into big problems. When doing your inspection, check the following for damage:
- Roof shingles
Damage to one of these structures could very well cause a leak. By catching the problem early, you will save yourself money and stress.
Issues like missing shingles are easy to fix yourself. But, if the problem is more complicated, you’ll want to hire a professional.
Step 3: Secure Your Home’s Foundation
Over time, cracks can form in your home’s foundation. These cracks can cause basement flooding and water damage.
So, it’s important to secure the foundation.
Start by looking for cracks. You can fix smaller cracks with caulk or tripolymer sealant. If you use tripolymer sealant, be sure to use a foam backer rod. For larger cracks, you’ll need to use hydraulic cement. Be careful as hydraulic cement can burn your skin.
Aside from sealing cracks, you can secure your home’s foundation by:
- Checking your grading. Grading refers to the ground around your home. Ideal grading is when the ground slopes away from your home. This carries water away and prevents flooding. If your grading isn’t as sloped as it should be, you’ll have to rebuild the slope. Do this by adding several inches of topsoil or crushed stone around your home.
- Building a trench. If your yard is prone to flooding, build a U-shaped trench. Make it about 4 feet deep and 3 feet across, line it with fabric and fill it with gravel. The trench should draw water away from your home and prevent flooding.
Step 4: Inspect Your Home’s Interior
Moving away from the exterior, you’ll now want to focus on your home’s interior.
Start by doing an inspection. Take note of leaky toilets, sinks, and faucets. These structures are usually easy to fix.
In some cases, there are leaks hidden in floors, ceiling, and walls. These are harder to detect and usually require a professional to fix. Some signs of leaks in your plumbing system include:
- Musty odors
- Water spots on your walls, ceiling, or floors
- Sagging walls, ceiling, or floors
- Mildew or mold
- An unusually high water bill
- Poor water pressure
- Slow drainage
Step 5: Protect Your Pipes
Protecting your pipes is important (especially if you live in a colder climate). It will save you from having to deal with damage and expensive repairs.
Here are some ways you can protect your pipes:
- Wrap pipes with heat tape. Heat tape will keep your pipes warm regardless of the outside temperature. You can control the temperature thanks to a built-in thermostat.
- Wrap pipes with insulation. If you want to add another layer of protection, wrap your pipes with insulation. Note that you must install heat tape before insulation. If you use both, ensure that the heat tape you have can be used with insulation.
- Prepare for freezing nights. When you know it’s going to be freezing, set your thermostat to at least 60°F. You might also want to run a warm trickle from a few faucets. It will cost you a little to run water overnight. But, it will be much cheaper than paying someone to fix a burst pipe.
- Prepare for vacations. Going away during the winter? If so, you need to prevent your pipes from freezing while you’re gone. Start by turning off the main water supply and turning on a faucet until the water stops running. Then, ensure your thermostat remains at 55°F or higher throughout your trip. You’ll also want to open cupboard doors that contain pipes. This will give them access to air circulation and keep them warm.
Read more: How to seal a broken water pipe
Step 6: Seal Windows and Doors
Over the years, your windows and doors become weaker. They aren’t able to keep out water as well as they once did.
This is especially problematic if you get a lot of rain or snow. Wind pushes water into your home and can cause excessive damage.
So, you’ll want to seal your windows and doors. To seal your windows, use caulk. It is a flexible substance that will keep water from seeping in. We recommend caulking the interior and exterior of your windows. However, be sure to choose the right caulk. A caulk meant for interior use might not be strong enough for the exterior.
To seal your doors, use weatherstripping. This will ensure they close tightly. You can also use weatherstripping on your windows.
Step 7: Insulate Your Attic
Your attic might already have insulation. But, if it doesn’t or it’s time for an upgrade, you’ll want to insulate it.
Insulating your attic will help you regulate the area’s heat and moisture content. This will prevent water vapor from building up and causing damage. An insulation material like fiberglass or rock wool should do the trick.
With this guide, you will be one step closer to leak-proofing your home. But what happens if you end up finding a leak? You’ll need to call a team of professionals to take care of the problem before it worsens.
Call our team at All Dry USA to deal with leaks! We can perform our own detailed inspection, fix your leak, and help you prevent any future damage.
Get in touch us today to learn how we can help prevent your leaks!