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Simple DIY projects that save your home from water damage

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Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Mon Aug 25, 2014.

(BPT) - Rain, hail, ice, flooding – these are all the result of seasonal weather changes. Whether you live in an area prone to hurricanes or you experience daily downpours and dropping temperatures, now is the best time to prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store for the upcoming months.

The costs of home water damage can be astronomical, so taking a proactive approach is a smart way to save time and money. Consider these important DIY projects to help protect your home from water damage:

Check and seal windows: Hurricane shutters are a must for coastal areas, but every homeowner is wise to check their windows’ integrity before the seasons change. Older windows and cracked seals can cause drafts that do more than just affect the temperature inside your home; they can let moisture into your siding, walls and even indoors. This moisture, in turn, can cause mold growth and damage drywall and the studs. Check for drafts by holding a flame from a lighter next to the window seal and note if the flame flickers. If it does, you have a draft and should repair it with caulking and new window seals as necessary.

Enhance your sump pump: Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. With the average flood insurance claim at $35,000, it’s worth your time to ensure your sump pump is working. Try lifting the float on the side of the pump and listen for the pump noise.  Then consider installing a water alarm like the AdvanTEXT Cellular Flood Monitoring System from WAYNE Pumps that alerts you when your pump is not working and water is accumulating in the basement. AdvanTEXT sends text messages to up to three people in the event of power outages or high water, so you can feel confident your properties are safe whether you are near or far. Visit www.waynepumps.com/advantext for more information.

Clean gutters: Your gutter system is an important part of your home’s exterior and helps to ensure water is directed away from your deck and foundation to eliminate flooding and water damage. But during autumn months, leaves, yard waste and debris can accumulate and clog gutters, causing overflows that can seep into basements and damage foundations. Make time to safely go on the roof to check your gutter system and clean out materials clogging the free flow of water. This can also reduce the likelihood of ice dams in the wintertime.

Fix foundation cracks: Sometimes the worst water damage happens after the storm when the water table gets too high. This is when water in the ground can seep through the foundation and into the basement floor. That’s why it’s worthwhile to buy sealant from your local home improvement store and repair any cracks so your foundation keeps water outside where it should be. In addition to sealing cracks, there are a number of specialty paints made for concrete walls often found in basements that can boost water resistance and give homeowners peace of mind.

Whether a small amount or a lot, water is no joke when it comes to your home. If you’ve ever experienced a flood or water damage, you know cleaning up can require a massive effort and must be done quickly, within the first 48 hours, to avoid mold. Prepare your home ahead of time to avoid damages in the future.

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What would you like to see in Lodi's parks?

Lodi's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department is hosting a public workshop at 7 p.m. at Hutchins Street Square to find out how it can better meet the needs of the community. What would you like to see in Lodi's parks?

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