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December 8, 2014

Watch Out For Water Intrusion


The California drought has pushed thoughts of flooding and water damage out of many homeowners’ minds—until the past week or so. We’ve managed to get substantial rainfall, and another big storm is heading to The Bay Area this week. You’ll be in the majority if you suddenly notice a roof leak or water pooling in your garage.

The best time to check for water intrusion is this time of year, particularly after heavy rainfall. Whether you’re a homeowner or a home buyer having a property inspected, here’s a checklist of things to monitor.

Roof leaks. Check for staining or wetness around vents, exhaust fans, and skylights. Make sure your flashing is not corroded or in disrepair. If you have an attic, it’s a good idea to get up there and make sure everything is dry.

Damp areas on garage floors. Water can enter underneath doors and overwhelm interior drains, leading to standing water that can do damage. Make sure all drains are cleared. You also might notice cracks in the concrete where water is coming up through the ground. There are many reasons for this activity, but I recommend consulting a contractor who knows his or her way around a foundation.

Pools of water at the back of the building. Many homes in San Francisco are on hills or inclines. Water can run toward the house as a result. It’s important to have adequate drainage to divert water away from the building so it doesn’t ultimately undermine the foundation or get through doors.

Dry rot around windows and doors on the interior and exterior. Most leaks happen at the joints and corners. This can be an easy fix with caulk or another type of waterproof sealant.

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