Common Fall Home Water Issues and How to Handle Them

autumn weatherFall is a transitional time of year, which means water damage issues are also in flux. While the snow and ice of winter are still some ways off, the shift from summer heat to cooler autumn weather presents certain seasonal conditions that may impact your home and possessions. Here are some tips to prevent potential water damage.

  • Clean the gutters. Autumn leaves clog gutters and downspouts. When substantial rainfall occurs, gutters overflow and spill water down exterior walls, penetrating siding and infiltrating wall cavities. Indoor water damage and mold growth result. Due to safety issues, gutters should always be cleaned from a sturdy ladder, not by standing up on the roof. Hire a professional if you’re not comfortable working from a ladder.
  • Check the air conditioner condensate drain. Before putting the A/C to sleep for the winter, take a look inside the condensate drain pan located underneath the indoor air handler. It’s normal for it to be wet, but you should not see standing water that indicates a clogged or sluggish condensate drain line. Stagnant water inside the pan can become a source of toxic mold contamination during the off-season. Clearing a clogged condensate drain requires the services of a qualified HVAC service technician.
  • In many coastal areas, fall is hurricane season. Take advance steps to safeguard your home against water damage from severe storms or hurricanes that may occur in fall. Have the roof inspected for loose or deteriorated shingles or other signs of incipient leakage. Cut back any limbs or trees that could fall in high winds and damage the roof or walls. To prevent water intrusion in storm conditions, use caulking or spray foam insulation to seal any openings in exterior walls such as points where conduits or pipes enter the house, garden hose bibs and around vents.
  • Prepare the sprinkler system. Before the first freeze strikes, follow the manufacturer’s procedure to winterize your underground sprinklers. An underground rupture due to freezing in the main line or the shutoff valve connected to household water could affect the house foundation and/or cause basement flooding.

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