After every heavy rain in St. Louis, Exteriors By Mosby consultant Kurt Doll is extra busy detecting and correcting water leaks. With hopes that you never need call him because of a water problem, Kurt shares these water management insights with you.
Who doesn’t love looking at a beautiful home? It’s even better when that curb appeal is also efficient and saves money, which means the exterior protects the people and investments made inside the home.
A home is only as good as its exterior’s ability to protect you from Mother Nature. The threat of damage to your home is as unavoidable as the changing of the seasons. With the arrival of spring rains, you will undoubtedly encounter the single most common source of damage: water.
Water poses threats to virtually every component of a home’s exterior: foundations, walls, windows, doors, trims and roofs. Water attacks the structure of a home all at once (think about that last heavy rain to know what I mean) and is especially adept at finding the weak points in a home’s water management system.
These attacks can include the decomposition of wood (rot), the oxidation of metals (rust), the erosion of soil, the deterioration of concrete and the wearing of roofing materials. Here are some helpful tips to help thwart water management problems:
Be proactive in routing water away from your home
• Check that gutters and downspouts are unobstructed and draining away from the foundation.
• If using a sump pump, ensure that it is working properly.
• Look for ways to incorporate the slope of the land to shed water toward areas that won’t negatively impact your home – or your neighbor’s.
• For buried downspouts, use only hard PVC or cellular PVC instead of highly compressible and less effective black corrugated tubing.
Check the condition of paint and caulk on the exterior of your home
While not an ideal long term solution, paint and caulk provide the first protective water barrier for many exterior materials. Painted surfaces will need ongoing maintenance; however you can prolong the intervals by properly scraping, sanding and prepping before using a high quality exterior paint or caulk.
Buy or remodel a home with your desired level of required maintenance in mind
As you may glean from my previous article, I love the look of natural materials on the exterior of a house, especially wood. However, if you aren’t willing to contract or perform the necessary maintenance, then a buying house sided with wood isn’t your best option.
If you already own and are committed to staying in a home with wood siding and want to reduce maintenance, consider remodeling to a maintenance-friendly option like vinyl or composite siding (shown above). These siding systems won’t require much maintenance but they will require a barrier system to be effective. This barrier system typically includes the proper installation of a house wrap material (Tyvek for instance) and appropriate flashing to make the outer siding weather-tight. An additional benefit of this system is that it allows water vapor created inside the home to escape, while preventing outside water molecules from entering.
If you discover wet areas around your home’s exterior, act quickly before water has a chance to damage your home’s structure. In the St. Louis area, consider having the water management experts at Mosby Building Arts find the source of your water problem and fix it right the first time. For repair and installation of roofing, siding, windows and doors, call me at 314.909.8383 to get the ball rolling on some Exteriors By Mosby exterior remodeling. And finally, as we enter this rainy season, try your best to stay dry out there!