Here in South Carolina, it rains - a lot! Use this checklist as the seasons change to help prevent water from finding its way inside your home. Focus on these five key areas to protect your home from South Carolina weather:
Your home’s roof is your first line of defense against unwanted leaks from Mother Nature. Experts recommend checking the roof twice a year.
How to spot and prevent roof problems:
- Make sure it’s clear of debris which can trap water, causing it to find a way inside.
- Remove any tree limbs rubbing against the roof.
- Look for missing or curling shingles.
- Take a look inside the attic for water spots or wet insulation. Insulation may soak up water from a leak, disguising any tell-tale signs there is a problem.
Trouble spots claims adjusters see most often include leaks around plumbing vent boots with a deteriorating gasket, chimney flashing and ridge vents. Replacing a plumbing boot with a deteriorating gasket can prevent expensive water damage to ceilings and walls inside your home.
Your roof is no different than your car. It needs regular inspections and repairs to ensure it lasts and stands strong against the elements. If you have an inspection or make a repair, document the work so that you have a record of when the work was completed. Should you have a problem with the roof covering, the first thing the manufacturer will want to know is what you have done to protect and maintain your roof.
While you can visually check your roof from the ground, consider hiring a licensed roofing inspector to climb up on the roof for a closer look. Never risk falling and injuring yourself.
Window and Door Seals
Peeling paint, streaks below windows or swollen and soft drywall can all be signs of water intrusion. Check caulking to make sure it is in good shape and replace it when needed. Make timely repairs to flashing around windows and replace any damaged siding, wood, or drywall to keep water out.
Check exterior walls to ensure they are well painted and sealed. Seal any cracks or openings around pipes or vents that penetrate exterior walls.
Gutters and Downspouts
Check to make sure gutters are clean so water drains properly and doesn’t back up. Ensure gutters are securely attached to lessen the chance they become flying debris in high wind. Downspouts should slope away from the house and carry water at least five feet away from the foundation.
Yard and Landscaping
With time, a yard’s grading can change, introducing the risk of water damage. Make sure water is draining away from the home and doesn’t pool against walls. Don’t place compost or mulch against outside walls and make sure sprinklers don’t spray the house.
Schedule an Annual Review
The last step in your home maintenance check-up should include an annual review with your Farm Bureau Insurance agent. Your agent can review your coverage and make sure everything is up to date. If you are planning renovations or have recently completed work, you may need to make changes to your homeowner's policy. Ready to explore coverage? Find a South Carolina insurance agent near you or reach a customer service representative at 1-800-799-7500.