As you well know, we have a few extremes in our weather. That includes thunderstorms, hail, high winds, and tornadoes, along with winter snow and ice. So how do you prepare your home for these natural weather events?
Spring and Summer Flooding
A 2020 study of properties at flooding risk identified 21,000 properties in Cincinnati. This is the highest number of properties in all Ohio cities. Next on the list is Columbus with 17,000 properties at risk.
Given this level of risk in our area, it makes good sense to do all you can to protect your home not only from flooding but also from the normal level of rainfall. Here are a few recommendations:
- Examine your foundation closely for any cracks and take steps to repair them.
- Seal basement windows and cover window wells. If the window wells are collecting water, fix the drainage so the water doesn’t enter your basement.
- Install a basement interior drainage system and a sump pump with a backup battery.
- Add a dehumidifier in the basement or crawl space to reduce moisture and eliminate mildew and mold formation.
- Encapsulate the crawl space to prevent any water damage.
Summer Heatwaves and Drought
The last major droughts in Ohio were in 2002 to 2003, as well as a brief period in 2007. Even so, summer heat and dry conditions can lead to foundation settling. You can further couple that with rain expanding the soil leading to hydrostatic pressure against your foundation walls. That’s when cracks start appearing in your basement or crawl space. It can be a vicious cycle.
Regular landscape watering is the best way to ensure excess drying doesn’t happen around your foundation. An irrigation system that adjusts for the prevailing temperature and moisture is the best approach.
Landscaping, Gutters, and Downspouts
It’s also important to make sure your landscape grading provides for drainage away from your foundation. Plus, your gutters and downspouts need to be clear of any obstructions so they can move the rain off your roof and away from your foundation.
While you’re considering your landscaping, it’s wise to trim trees to remove dead branches along with any overhanging branches. This can prevent damage from falling tree limbs during severe summer or winter storms.
Home insulation can lower your heating bills and prevent freezing pipes, which can lead to flooding. It’s also appropriate to insulate your basement or crawl space. In addition, make sure there are no drafts that can also lead to freezing pipes.
You can further lower heating and air conditioning bills through the use of a smart thermostat.
Prepare Your Home for Natural Weather Events
That’s a starting point for things to do in preparing your home to readily cope with weather issues. Get professional help with a free inspection from Ohio Basement Authority to identify any issues that could lead to foundation damage.