Outdoor Maintenance Tips to Prevent Indoor Mold & Water Damage
Outdoor Maintenance for Lake County Ohio Properties
Outdoor maintenance, or exterior maintenance, means maintaining and keeping in good repair of all exterior elements of the structure and surrounding the structure. While it is important to assess and maintain all exterior components of the building like doors, windows, siding, roof and foundation — it is equally important to keep the grounds in good condition. Landscaping, driveways and trees all play crucial roles in the condition of your property as well. Structural problems like indoor mold growth and major water damage can often be traced back to an issue with the grounds. Whether the landscaping is directing water towards the house, the driveway is sloping the wrong way, or an overgrown tree is damaging the roof — there are a whole array of exterior problems that can lead to major property damage.
Exterior Maintenance Tips
Warmer weather means it is time to get outside and complete some of those outdoor maintenance projects. It is important to check the building structure, landscaping, driveway, walkways, trees and foliage for maintenance opportunities.
Exterior Structural Elements – Conduct an assessment of the exterior of your building structure to check for signs of damage or other issues. All doors, windows, siding, foundation walls and roofing elements should be in good, working condition. If you identify any potential issues, it is important to contact a professional in your Ohio area to properly complete any necessary repairs.
Landscaping – Aside from being just neat and orderly, your landscaping needs to be strategic and intentional. Landscaping should always direct water AWAY from the home. If groundwater or rainwater collects along the foundation wall or under the floor or slab, it can compromise the building’s foundation and lead to water intrusion.
- Prevent pooling by tracking water patterns during heavy rain. Keep an eye on your yard during heavy rain to see if/where the water approaches and pools near your home. If you notice consistent pooling, contact a landscaper or excavation contractor for advice on how to direct the water away from your home.
- Your lawn should slope away from your home. If you notice that your lawn is graded in the wrong direction, towards your home, your home may be vulnerable to flooding. You should consult a landscaper for an appropriate solution.
- You may need to re-grade your landscape
- Or install alternate drainage to combat moisture intrusion and moisture buildup
- When placing new dirt or mulch, be sure that you leave a 6-inch gaps between your mulch and the siding of your home. The moisture in the mulch can wick into the siding and rot away the building material.
Driveways and Pavers – Like landscaping, driveways, walkways and pavers should always direct water away from the home. Additionally, driveways and walkways need to be regularly maintained to make sure that water does not seep into the ground underneath.
- Depending on the material and construction of your driveway or walkway, it may require routine re-sealing to prevent cracking and sinking
- If you notice that your driveway, walkways or pavers are directing water towards your home rather than away from your home, you should re-grade these areas
- To avoid excess water buildup, you should consider installing alternate draining to help divert water elsewhere
Trees and Foliage – Trees can do a lot of damage to a Lake County home if Ohio homeowners are not careful. Aside from the very obvious tree falling into a home, poorly maintained trees can cause a lot of problems that can be difficult to detect or easy to overlook. Poorly maintained or neglected trees and foliage can lead to foundation damage, siding damage and roof damage that will contribute to problems like water damage and mold growth.
- Plant your trees at a safe distance away from the building structure:
- Tree roots are aggressive and can apply unwanted pressure to your foundation walls. Depending on the kind of tree, you should plant your trees roughly 15-20ft away from you home to avoid damage to your foundation.
- Trees and bushes provide damp shade for moss and algae to grow on your roof.
- Damp shaded areas can hold moisture to the surface of a roof and lead to rot and deterioration over time
- Trees and foliage planted too close to the structure can trap and hold moisture against the siding and allow moisture intrusion over time.
- Trim branches away from the building structure:
- This will help limit the amount of damp shade areas on your roof
- Neatly groomed trees and bushes will help to avoid scratching and gouging of the roof surface by branches.
- It will also limit the chance of loose branches falling into the gutters and causing a blockage.
Loose Debris – General maintenance like keeping a clean and tidy yard is important. Loose debris like leaves and branches can get caught in your drains, gutters, window wells, etc. If not removed before the next rainfall in Lake County, it can cause water backups and allow water intrusion into the structure.
If you assess any exterior issues that have led to potential water damage or mold, the Water Extraction Team (WET) in Lake County Ohio can help. Contact us today.