Mar/Apr
2018

Handy Gal’s Guide to Home Maintenance

Written by Cindy Mennenga
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WHAT YOU CAN DO THIS SPRING.

SPRINGTIME IS A GREAT TIME TO CONSIDER HOW WELL YOUR HOUSE IS EQUIPPED TO WAGE WAR AGAINST MOISTURE. THE SNOW THAT HAS KEPT US SHROUDED IN WHITE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS HAS BEGUN TO LOOSEN ITS GRIP, MELTING INTO RIVULETS OF WATER SCURRYING FROM THE ROOF AND SNOW BANKS LINING OUR DRIVEWAYS AND SIDEWALKS, IN SEARCH OF THE FASTEST ESCAPE ROUTE. 

If you have a great moisture intrusion management system already in place, then you can sit back and welcome spring and all its attendant glories. However, in the event your moisture intrusion management system is not up to snuff, you may be taking a hold-your-breath-and-wait-and-see approach. That tactic is tantamount to playing roulette. 

DOWNSPOUTS AND RAINWATER MANAGEMENT

When winter’s snow begins to melt quickly or there is a rain event that drops a large amount of rainwater in a short period of time, having your home protected by a well-maintained gutter and downspout system is invaluable as a defense against water damage or moisture intrusion in your home.

 

Donna Wurl, of All Craft Exteriors, recommends having 3-inch by 4-inch commercial grade aluminum downspouts installed on your home. She says, “With the storms we’ve been getting lately, it helps keeping up with the amount of rainfall and helps keep the water away from the house.” She also adds that houses without gutters can experience deteriorating foundations and damaged siding. 

To manage rainwater properly, it’s important for water to have someplace to go, rather than into your basement. An underground drain tile system that carries water away from your home will help protect your home from a wet basement or a damaged foundation. Ryan Hegland, owner of Hegland’s Creative Landscapes says, “A great way to control rainwater is to turn a low, wet area in your yard into a rain garden.” Additionally, landscaping near your home’s foundation needs to slope away from the building—a minimum of 6 inches drop in grade within the first 10 feet—so the rainwater naturally cascades away from the structure. 

SUMP PUMPS PROTECTION
AGAINST WATER INTRUSION

Even with high-quality gutters and downspouts, drain tile and landscaping designed to direct water away from your home’s foundation, you could still experience a breach and water could enter your basement. A good way to protect yourself from this possibility is to install a high-quality sump pump. This is not an area to cut corners: After all, once you have water coming into your basement, the sump pump is your last line of defense to help keep your home dry on the inside. 

Mark Nelson, owner of Service Pros Plumbing and Heating shares, “Better built sump pumps will typically last longer, and you want your sump pump to work when you need it to.” Indeed, for anyone who has a sump pump that runs nearly nonstop after a rain event, the sound of it discharging its contents is both troublesome and comforting at the same time. Troublesome because it’s always concerning when you know that there is water trying valiantly to enter your home, and comforting because you know the sump pump is doing its job and helping to keep your home dry.

PLANNING FOR RAINY DAYS

Home maintenance is a learning experience; however, managing rainwater on the fly is not a fun or effective way to gain that experience. Implementing a home moisture intrusion management system is pretty straightforward and an important concern for all homeowners. 

Take steps now to be prepared in advance. It will help give you peace of mind and confidence when you hear those first big, fat juicy raindrops drip, drip dropping on your roof at the beginning of a downpour. 

 


Cindy Mennenga is a freelance writer and along with her husband John, owns Conspectus Home Inspection Services, LLC based in Rochester. Visit conspectusmn.com for more information.