September is typically a favorite month to many Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington locals, like us at Fasse bldgs. The tourists head home, things calm down, there is a crispness to the air, and the humidity usually subsides from the hot steamy summer months. Well not this year!
While it looks like we may have missed the threat of Hurricane Joaquin making landfall on our coast, we've experienced dumping rain across southeast North Carolina (and much of the eastern US) for almost TWO WEEKS STRAIGHT! Aside from the rain dampening your early autumn social and recreational plans, it's also important to remember the serious damage extreme weather can have on your home, in turn creating unexpected costs and even more hassle.
Rain damage can be one of the costliest repairs to a home due to its devastating effect on foundations and contribution to mold development, especially in our region (Wilmington, NC area) where the water tables are high, there are multiple flood zones, and extremely high levels of humidity. Below are a few steps to protect your property from heavy rain damage and to ensure the safety of your home and family.
Ensure good drainage by assessing gutters and drains located on your property. The rooftop is the primary structure that keeps rainwater from entering a home. Check all aspects of the rooftop and ensure its construction is not damaged in any way. A tiny opening in the rooftop is enough space to permit leakage. Additionally, ensure all gutters are cleaned regularly, and make sure the slope of your yard should is directed away from the foundation so rainwater is directed away from the home and not into the foundation. Check your downspouts while it’s raining to see exactly where they’re dumping water. If water is pooling less than five feet away from your house, redirect it with gutter extensions to prevent water damage to your home.
Install (or have a contractor install) a backwater valve and/or a sump pump. A backwater valve is a device that prevents city sewers from backing up into your basement plumbing fixtures. Backwater valves can prevent major flooding problems caused by a blocked or overloaded sewage pipe. Sump pumps are usually installed in conjunction with sealed crawl spaces to reduce moisture and standing water from gathering beneath your house. This greatly reduces the risk of mold, mildew, structural and foundation damage.
Check your chimney and sump pump annually. Two vital areas that can allow rain damage if they fail are a home’s chimney and sump pump. Not only should a sump pump be inspected by a professional annually, it should be checked visually and operationally more often during long periods of heavy rain or more extraordinary climates, like hurricane seasons. Chimneys should also be checked to ensure bricks have no gaps and are tightly sealed. Additionally, bricks should be waterproofed to ensure water and moisture is not absorbed from the outside. Finally, consider installing a chimney cap prior to the stormy season to prevent rainwater from coming in at all.
Examine roof, ceilings, and plumbing. Check for and fix any water leaks. Plumbing and roofing leaks can be a potential catastrophe if left unresolved. Address these issues promptly by repairing any noticeably leaking pipes, checking for dark spots adjacent to pipes or on ceilings, repairing or replacing any cracked caulking, and inspecting the roof for any missing, loose or broken shingles. If you have an attic, you can look for signs of water penetration under the roof after it rains. To do this, inspect the underside of the plywood beneath your roof for any watermarks or mold. Poles, trees and other large objects can also fall on a house during heavy rain; therefore, cut off branches that are dangerously close to a home’s rooftop. Additionally, raise downward sloping areas to ensure heavy rain water doesn’t collect near the foundation and weaken it.
Examine your exterior paint. Rain, humidity, salt air and heavy storms can be harmful to exterior paint. Do a loop around your property and examine your home's exterior paint and finishes. Look for any bubbling, peeling or cracking. Touch up any problem areas you see as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your siding. This may often require sanding the old finish before applying a new one, and could likely require a professional . In the Wilmington area, Fasse bldgs. recommends Verde Painting for your interior and exterior paint needs.
Be aware of potential health hazards associated with water damage. If your home does suffer from water damage caused by internal leaks, heavy rain or other inherent problems, it is important to hire a water damage restoration company as soon as possible. Moisture promotes the growth of mold and other dangerous organisms, especially in already-damp climates, which increases the risk for serious health problems. Exposure to these types of water-related growths can also aggravate symptoms for allergy and asthma patients and may compound these problems in children, the elderly, and people with poor immune systems.
Fasse bldgs. has a great deal of experience developing smart, eco-friendly site designs as well as homes and developments with integral, healthy water management systems. Our Tonbo Meadow development is an LID (Low Impact Development) designed to manage stormwater runoff involving rain gardens, swales, and a stormwater wetland.
Someone from the Fasse bldgs. team will be happy to consult and walk builders, developers, and/or homeowners through the process of designing, building, and managing eco friendly stormwater features such as swales, drains, rain gardens, natural wetlands, rain chains, pervious pavement/materials, and water quality. From soil preparation, planting, troubleshooting, and maintenance, to selecting water-loving plants that provide a habitat for a flourishing native ecosystem. For more information on consulting services please call our office at (910) 679 4277.
Hope everyone stays dry the next few days. Or better yet, throw your rain boots on and give mother nature a smile and a splash in the face!