Bring On the Rain - Stop The Flood!!!

By
Real Estate Agent with Shipman Partners

Rain Puddle10 Ways To Keep Your Home Dry

The recent heavy rains from Tropical Storm Hermine in Central Texas brought wide spread flooding and heavy run off to the Austin Metro area.  Home owners scrambled to keep their homes safe and dry.  Many home owners are now involved in clean up efforts around their properties.  So how can you be better prepared for the next rain storm?  Here are 10 tips to help keep your home safe and dry from the next rain storm.

1.  Install Rain Gutters - Rain Gutters divert water flow away from your home and help prevent erosion from rain running off the roof top.  Don't forget splash blocks at the base of each down spout.  A splash block will help control erosion and divert water away form your home.

2.  Clean Out Gutters- Rain gutters will do you no good if they are full of leaves and debris.  In fact, a dirty rain gutter can actually cause more harm to your home.  If the water can not freely flow through your gutters and out the down spouts, the act as a dam and can hold water against you home allowing water to penetrate the roof line.  The also become very heavy when filled with water and can actually be ripped loose from your home causing thousands of dollars of damage.  So get up on a ladder and inspect your gutters at least twice a year and clean out any leaves and debris.

3.  Divert Water Away From Your Home - The dirt around your home should be angled away from your home to allow water to drain away from your foundation.  If you live on a hill, make sure that water coming down the hill has a path to divert around your home.  This can be accomplished with a drainage trench, landscaping, or a retaining wall.  If you have a low spot around your home, consider installing french drains to allow the water some place to go.

4.  Caulk and Seal - Make sure all seams around your home are properly caulked and sealed.  Water can leak in through gaps around your window casing and doors.

5.  Flashing - Flashing is used to reinforce the seal between two surfaces on your roof that are at different angles.  This includes around fireplaces, in roof valleys, and where the roof meets a wall.  If flashing is not properly installed and sealed, this will create a high risk location that water is going to eventually penetrate.

6.  Drip Edge- The bottom edge of your roof is a location where water can be absorbed back up through the plywood roof decking.  While this may not create an initial leak, the absorption will eventually lead to wood rot and premature failure.  Metal drip edge can be installed around the perimeter to prevent the water from being absorbed by the plywood decking.Rain Run Off

7.  Clean Up Your Yard - One of the most common problems that prevents water run off is debris in your yard blocking the flow of water.  Leaves, sticks, tree limbs, and grass trimmings can create a dam that slows or prevents water from properly draining off of your property.  Keep these things cleaned up and help the water flow away from your home.

8.  Drainage Culverts - If you have a drainage culvert under your driveway or sidewalk, make sure it is clean of debris and that there is unobstructed access to the entrance at both sides.  Also, you should consider replacing any drainage culvert that has been crushed by traffic driving over it.  A clear path to and through the culvert is a clear path for the water to get away from your home quickly.

9. Fences and Clearance- If your yard is surrounded by a privacy fence, make sure that water has a way to get under or around your fence.  Many home owners place stones or dirt around the perimeter of the fence to prevent their dogs from getting out, but this also prevents the water from getting out.  Consider placing a 24"x24" concrete paver under the fence and leave a 2" to 4" gap.  This will allow the water to flow under the fence while preventing the dog from digging out.

10. Erosion Control- There are many forms of erosion control and you must choose the type that is appropriate for your situation.  Grass is fine for flat to gentle slops.  Mulch may provide some benefit for flower beds, but can be easily washed away by flowing water.  Gravel and rock can be good for slight slopes that contain gentle flows, but will be washed away by heavy water flows.  Concrete is the best solution for areas with moderate to heavy flows.

Keep these tips in mind and make sure that your property is properly prepared and your home will weather the next storm much more soundly.   

Comments (2)

Brian Rugg
Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-818-6700 - Georgetown, TX
Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est

Hello Allen:

15 inches of rain in Georgetown TX was more than anyone thought possible. We are calling it a 200 year storm. Even homes in a well eengineered community like Sun City took in some water.  Good post.

Sep 09, 2010 04:29 AM
Allen Shipman
Shipman Partners - Austin, TX

Thanks for the comment Rugg.  We saw about 12 to 14 inches in NW Austin.  As we drove the neighborhoods yesterday, we noticed several things that could have been done to prevent problems.  The worst was people that had stacked firewood in drainage areas that was basically acting like a dam preventing run off.  Hope you guys in Georgetown are drying off today.

Sep 09, 2010 04:41 AM