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July 27, 2016

How to Protect Your Home Investment – Guarding Against Water Damage

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Here in East Tennessee, the dog days of summer aren’t just notorious for their searing heat; they’re also known for sudden, heavy storms. On average, Knoxville receives more rain in July than in any other month.

At Hickory Construction, we have been building and renovating premium homes and businesses for more than 40 years. A vital part of our construction process is using top-notch materials and meticulous building practices to secure structures from water damage.

As a homeowner, you also have a role to play in the fight to protect your basement and foundation. Here are three steps you can take to make sure water isn’t slipping through the cracks:

1. Pitch away from your house, not toward it

Water flows in the direction of least resistance, so if your yard is sloped toward your house, beware – it will exploit every weak point in your foundation. This is especially true during flooding, of course, which can happen all too often (and quickly) in the summer months. Even a modest rainfall can create a harmful flow if the slope is steep enough.

To avoid this danger, make sure your yard is pitched away from your house, not toward it. If you do have a slope issue, trees and gardens can help soak up moisture before it reaches your foundation.

2. Water your yard correctly

Summer storms and flash floods are a deadly combination, but standing water isn’t the only dangerous foe. You can also do significant damage by watering your yard at the wrong time of day – or in the wrong direction.

If you point sprinklers and irrigation systems toward your house, water can find its way under your house through small entry points. Don’t give it a chance to do so – water away from the house.

As a side tip, make sure you’re watering your yard in the early hours of the morning, or water could cause a different kind of damage – burned grass. If you use your sprinkler in the hot summer afternoon, water will heat dramatically when it hits your yard, searing your grass and plants in the process.

3. Install high-quality gutters and downspouts – and make sure they’re clean

Gutters are a great line of defense against liquid danger, but only when they’re cleaned regularly. If they’re clogged, water will overflow and pool in inconvenient places. Properly installed downspouts are also key, since they will direct water into safe areas rather than allowing it to seep into your house in vulnerable spots.

Clean your gutters often, especially this time of year, when storms can blow twigs and leaves into them. Even small obstructions can divert water and risk damage to your yard and foundation.

Quality and maintenance aren’t just important for gutters and downspouts; they’re also vital when it comes to your siding. Longer-lasting siding, and regular care for it, will keep your home sealed and strong. Consistent painting and staining is important. Most importantly, if you detect a leak, get on the fix right away: Lingering moisture issues can and will make things worse over time.

At Hickory, we are passionate about crafting and renovating dream homes and businesses, but water damage can turn even a palace into a nightmare. By taking these three steps, you can safeguard your home investment and keep water away.

For more information how to protect your home investment, or if you are interested in a renovation or new build, take a deeper look at our website.

 

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