Quick Tips

Water Damage Tips

Tips to avoid damage to your home and insurance claims related to rainwater.

These are the common issues and calls that BRC receives typically over the winter months when it rains.

Issue: Blocked gutter or downspout causing water to overflow.

Preventative Action: Inspect gutters and downspouts regularly throughout the year (particularly in the fall) and keep them clear by carefully removing debris. Note: This can be a dangerous activity to do yourself, so we always suggest you engage a qualified and skilled professional with the necessary safety equipment to do this.

Reason: When gutters are filled with leaves and other debris, this can cause a blockage in the gutter or downspout resulting in water overflowing, sometimes directly into your house or down the exterior wall. When a lot of water runs down a wall it can still potentially get in through cracks in the wall to the inside of the home or building. Once water penetrates a wall, it can cause significant surface and potentially structural damage to your home. If left untreated, mold is likely to grow.

Issue: Cracks in walls large enough to let water in.

Preventative Action: Be sure there are no cracks in external walls (we see a lot of issues with stucco). Seal with caulking and paint over.

Reason: As explained above, water running down a wall can potentially get in through cracks in the wall to the inside of the home or building, causing significant damage including mold.

Issue: Old or poorly set window frames letting water in.

Preventative Action: Check flashing around windows and Seal any gaps with silicone (available from most and building material stores such as Home Depot).

Reason: Driving rain or water flowing down a wall can get through cracks around poorly sealed windows to the inside of the home or building.

Issue: Water getting in through the roof.

Preventative Action: Requires a professional experienced with roof repair who has the safety equipment to get on to the roof and repair the damage. Your roof should be inspected regularly

Reason: Repairing your own roof can be dangerous and is not recommended. Also, repairs can be harder depending on the type of roof material; tiles have a higher chance of causing leaks if they become brittle and crack, so review cracks and gaps on the roof before the rains come. Wood shingles, while not so available now, are also very poor at keeping water out and require more maintenance over their life span compared to modern alternatives.

Issue: Excessively damp environment under the house.

Action: Increase airflow, remove any standing water and consider laying down a moisture barrier

Reason: For underneath the house we recommend having a sump pump particularly in areas where water is prone to build up. Installing a vapor barrier involves having an industrial grade thick plastic sheet placed directly on the soil to all corners underneath your home. This will help prevent moisture from rising and will minimize dampness underneath the house, meaning there is less chance for mold to grow.

Homes and Condos constructed in the 80s and earlier are particularly prone to water damage. If you suspect your property may be subject to water damage this winter or has mold or water damage from some time ago, contact BRC at 707-838-0675 to discuss your options with one of our friendly and helpful staff.