Preventing Home Water Damage in the Summer


Though the “water damage season” actually runs throughout the entire year, certain
times are more likely than others to present specific challenges. Summer, for
example, has its own unique circumstances that may trigger water damage,
most of which are related to outdoor weather. While you can't do anything to
control the weather, you may be able to take steps to prevent or reduce the
ultimate outcome of weather-related water damage. Here are some typical sources
of summer water damage and what can be done to best avoid it.

Severe Storms

Heat-triggered thunderstorms can dump several inches of rainfall in a short
time on a hot, humid summer day. This abrupt transition from dry to deluge can
inflict water damage in several ways:

  • Gutter overflows. Water spilling out of clogged gutters penetrates exterior walls as well as undermines the foundation and seeps into the basement. Inspect gutters and downspouts and keep them clear of debris. Make sure downspouts are long enough to discharge water at least three feet from the house.
  • Roof leakage. Saturated attic insulation and water dripping down through ceilings into living spaces during a summer storm is an untimely way to find out that your roof leaks. Experts recommend a professional roof inspection every three years for asphalt and wood-shingle roofs. You can do some DIY checking yourself by climbing into the attic and looking for signs of leakage such as dark streaks on the underside of sub-roofing.

Air Conditioner Issues

Keeping you cool on a hot summer day, a central A/C unit extracts gallons of
water vapor from the air. If everything works right, it's collected in the condensate drip pan, then conveyed down the drain line. If
the drip pan or drain line is clogged, the pan overflows every time the system
cycles on, potentially inflicting substantial water damage before it's noticed.
While the unit's running, use a flashlight to inspect the drip pan under the
air handler. It's normal for it to be wet. However, if you see standing water,
contact an HVAC service technician to troubleshoot the drain system.