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How to protect your home from heavy rains

23 Apr 2018

If your home is not properly protected, heavy rains can damage your property, cause damp and mould that could affect your family. Here’s how to protect your home… 

1. Inspect your roof 

 

Walk around your home’s exterior so you can inspect your roof. Do this at least twice a year to avoid costly problems that could escalate into a much greater expense.

To do this properly you need to…

- Inspect the roof from the ground, look for signs of damage, sagging and aging. 

- Check for skew, lose or missing tiles and for any cracks. Missing roof tiles mean your roof is directly exposed to adverse weather conditions.

 - Look for cracks along the ridge of your roof and along parapet walls. Damaged mortar joints on ridge capping tiles will result in roof leaks. 

- Inspect the valleys of your roof (the area of your roof with a downward slope). Make sure that any flashing does not have any holes or rusty spots in it. 

- Take note of any possible problem areas or spots that are in need of closer inspection. 

- If any issues are found a reputable contractor as soon as possible so as to avoid moisture leaks inside your home that can weaken your wall or ceilings. 

2. Inspect your gutters  

Gutters are an essential part of your roofing system. The purpose of the gutter is to collect and funnel away any water that lands on the roof. These carry water away from the building’s foundations, protecting your exterior surfaces and stopping water from entering the home.  

If water penetrates your home, woodwork can perish, mould will begin to grow, condensation forms and brickwork will erode. Damp patches quickly spread and health problems could become an issue. 

You can avoid this by… 

- Ensuring that the guttering outside your home isn’t broken or leaking. 

- Clearing out any leaves or other debris. This will reduce the risk of blockages occurring during heavy rain, which could cause your gutters to overflow and create problems for your home.

- Using a trowel to scoop out debris that is clogging your gutters or buying a cleaning tool specifically designed for your gutters that attaches to your hosepipe. 

- Checking that there are not a lot of little granules collecting in gutters and downpipes. Finding granules is a good indicator that your roof’s coating needs to be resealed and painted.

- Reducing the risk of blockages by tightly fitting wire mesh or plastic caps in the down pipes. These allow water through but trap leaves and dirt.

3. Inspect the inside of your home 

Check all your windows and doors. Make sure that both close and seal properly, and make any repairs or improvements as necessary. 

Check out your ceilings to make sure that you are not experiencing signs of roof or other leakages. Be on the lookout for water rings, mould or dark spots and trails. 

Wall or ceiling discolouration could also be an indication that there is a problem. 

Black mould spots on your windows or curtains could also indicate damp or a high moisture content in the wall. If you stumble across any of the above, it would be pertinent to contact a professional for expert advice. 

4. Surrounding trees and foliage  

It would be prudent to consider cutting back any trees and foliage that hang over the house and gutters as their branches and leaves will most likely cause blockages and guttering problems. Additionally, this will reduce the risk of them falling during a storm and damaging your home.

5. Collect and recycle water  

We really only need the expensive municipal water for drinking and cooking. Most of the household water we consume is used for flushing toilets, washing cars and watering plants and gardens. So consider installing a rainwater collection tank to reduce unnecessary waste.

Rainwater is perfect for filling your pool, watering the garden or washing cars and dogs.

Collection tanks come in different sizes and can be connected to your gutter system without much effort. Some tanks have built-in pumps so you could connect them directly to you garden sprinkler systems.

Article courtesy of www.sadamp.co.za.
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