Don’t let water damage your home.
Even if you know next to nothing about being a homeowner, you know that water damage in your home is serious. Any kind of excess moisture in the home can lead to mold and mildew growth, which not only looks disgusting, but can be hazardous to your family’s health and the integrity of your home. Water enters the home in one of three ways: through structures and materials, such as a foundation; through air; and by heat transfer. At Leafguard®, avoiding water damage is our bread and butter, and we’re here to help you protect your home with info on how doors, windows, and gutters can keep your home safe and dry.
Why do well maintained gutters, windows, and doors keep moisture out of the home?
The main way moisture enters through doors is by heat transfer. Moisture forms in the home when there are cold surfaces (such as the outside of a door) that meet with warm, indoor air. Properly maintained storm doors provide a buffer between the cold winter air and your main door to your house–eliminating or reducing a cold surface in the home.
Similar to doors, well maintained windows (especially double or triple paned windows) keep the inner window pane well insulated and warm by blocking out cold air. Other ways that windows can keep moisture out of the home is by their basic function: ventilation. Homes need to breath, and having maintained windows that actually work can help air out your home. Lastly, many modern windows are actually equipped with a well that directs rainwater away from the house–like a tiny gutter. How great is that?
Gutters and downspouts route rainwater and other moisture away from your home. This prevents water pooling around your foundation, roof, and fascia (what your gutter is attached to). Without well maintained gutters water can seep into the basement, causing mold or mildew, and can damage the structure of your home.
Doors are made to withstand the elements, so their maintenance couldn’t be easier. To maintain your door’s aesthetics, keep your doors clean; chip or brush away any loose paint and wash with a mild dish soap. A pressure washer could work to keep doors clean as well. To maintain its function, lubricate all hinges with a silicone spray. If you notice a draft coming in from the bottom of the door, you can purchase or make a draft stopper for a short-term fix. You might want to check any caulking around your door, and add or replace any weather stripping. Not only will that keep you warmer, lower your heating bill, but it will drastically reduce moisture due to heat transfer.
Similar to doors, keep windows clean and lubricate any moving parts–the hinges on casement windows are especially in demand of this kind of maintenance. In addition to these basic maintenance tips, it’s extremely important to be an observant homeowner. If you notice any of the following, you’ll need to do some maintenance, repairs, or replacements on your windows:
- Condensation between window panes
- Window frame wood rot–press a flathead screwdriver into the frame–if it leaves a mark, you probably have wood rot
- Loose weather stripping
Any of these above items and you’ll need to call a handyman to take care of the issues.
If you had LeafGuard® Brand, maintenance free gutters, you wouldn’t need to do any maintenance at all! But for the standard gutter, you should clean the goop out of your gutters every spring and fall. Get those leaves out! Pay special attention to the downspout–if leaves are clogging it you can end up with mold or mildew inside your downspout; additionally, water won’t drain properly. Check your gutters for any cracks or holes that could lead to leaks. A leaky gutter is ineffective and doesn’t protect your foundation from water, so this is very important. Lastly, if your gutters are rusting you have incredibly old gutters. Rust grows fast and leaves huge holes in its wake. You’ll want to look into new gutters for sure. All newer gutters are made out of aluminum or vinyl. Better yet, replace those rust buckets with LeafGuard® gutters, and never clean your gutters again!