How Can Heavy Rains Damage My Home?

heavy rainfallThe effect of rainfall on your house depends on two factors: volume and duration. Once precipitation exceeds 0.30 inches per hour, it’s officially classified as “heavy rain” by meteorologists. At that point, water damage to certain parts of the structure naturally becomes more likely, depending on the materials involved in construction, the location of the house and its general state of repair. Here are some of the potential problems specifically associated with heavy rainfall on your house.

Roof Leakage

Heavy rainfall typically reveals any weak spots in your roof. A storm that includes one-half inch of rain deposits at least 400 gallons of water on a residential roof of average size. Leakage into the attic triggering mold contamination and ruining attic insulation are obvious consequences. Warped or deteriorating wooden structural components in the attic are another. Roof leaks may be caused by split or missing shingles and/or by gaps around vent pipes, chimney, skylights and other protrusions.

Basement Flooding

Once the soil is saturated by heavy rain, the basement may be compromised. Hydrostatic pressure pushing inward forces soil water through cracks and gaps in the concrete basement wall and /or upward through the basement floor, flooding the basement. Mold growth as well as damaged electrical panels, appliances and personal possessions stored in the basement are likely.

Exterior Wall Damage

If gutters aren’t fully functional due to clogs or not sized correctly to handle heavy rain, overflow is inevitable. Water from overflowing gutters flows down exterior walls. Though exterior siding is designed to repel raindrops and splashes, a continuous cascade of water from gutters will penetrate siding, entering the void inside the exterior wall. This hidden moisture rots wooden structure and forms a perfect breeding ground for mold.

Landscape Issues

If the land surrounding the perimeter of the house isn’t graded so ground water flows away from the structure, deep pooling may occur during heavy rain. In slab construction, this water may undermine the foundation over time with multiple incidents of heavy rain. In other homes, repeated flooding of the crawl space is another likely result.

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