When April Showers Bring More than May Flowers

When April arrives in the Outer Banks, it’s also the arrival of heavier precipitation for the spring. This means there’s opportunity for the chance of flooding and leaks, along with the after effects of mold and other plumbing problems that can really put a damper on the season.

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to prevent problems before they occur, while minimizing water damage and costly repairs at the same time.

Preparing for the Rainy Season

Although it may not be torrential, we do tend to get 4-5 inches of monthly rain in the spring time that can add up if your home and grounds are not prepared to withstand it.

Clean up around the house (and we mean AROUND the house):

The gutters and drains of your home should be frequently cleaned to remove any leaves and other debris that may block the flow of water coming off your roof.  Needles and leaves may seem unassuming because they are light and airy, but when they get wet, they can become clusters of heavy, wet muck.  Downspouts and drainage pipes are important components in making sure that water does not enter your home.  Checking your plumbing system on a regular basis will save you money and headaches down the road.

Detecting Signs of Mold & Mildew:

Moisture (even extreme humidity) can quickly turn to mold and mildew in your home.  Seasonal homeowners are most at risk because water could enter the home when they are not there, only to find once they’ve arrived that mold has taken over certain areas of the home.  The sniff test is one way to detect it, because mold tends to emit a musty smell that is not easily remedied by regular cleaning or odor eliminators.  Stains and signs of black mold are more obvious and also more difficult to remove.

Periodically check for dampness and odor in vulnerable areas (outside walls or around toilets, for example) of your home. The trickiest ones to find are plumbing leaks between the walls, where it may smell musty but not have any visible signs of water.  This can be especially troublesome for your foundation and your health because the mold will continue to grow.

Here are a couple tips to get ahead of mold and mildew:

  1. If you experience lower than normal water pressure, it could be a sign of a leaky pipe and a professional should be consulted immediately.
  2. Be sure to insulate your pipes before winter hits.  Your plumbing system is susceptible to cracks and leakage if water in the pipes freezes up in extreme temperatures.

It’s Not All Daffodils and Bunny Rabbits

Although most tasks are basic homeowner responsibilities, there are situations where you just want to defer to a professional to get them done.  Of course, it’s highly recommended if you are an absentee owner, but even if you’re a year-round resident it’s a good idea for your safety and for the proper repair and maintenance of your home to pay a service to do the heavy lifting.

Here’s why consulting a professional is a smart choice:

  1. Licensed plumbers are ofter better at identifying problem areas because they see them more frequently.
  2. Professionals typically have all the right tools- tools that homeowners may not necessarily own.
  3. They know how to fix things quickly because of their skills and experience and can do it without having to consult a YouTube video.
  4. Climbing ladders to clear out gutters or removing debris from a roof is not for the faint of heart. Each year over 160,000 accidents occur from falling off a ladder, most of which are falls from 10 feet or less.

Get a Leg up on the Season

Take a walk around the house this weekend and do a quick check of things yourself.  Then contact us with questions you may have, or suggestions you may need to help keep your home safe and dry all year round.  And be sure to check out our blog page!  Each month you’ll find tons of useful tips and information for a healthy plumbing system.