(NC) Water damage can easily turn into a terrible nightmare like this: Melanie Smith of Toronto says she woke up one morning to an inch of water across her basement floor. This catastrophe was not part of her weekend plans, nor were the hours of clean-up and repair that were needed. Many of her treasured possessions could not be replaced. Some of the risks of water infiltration, however, can be prevented. Regular inspection and rigourous maintenance of the roof, gutters and foundation will give you the best protection since problems usually start in those areas.

Be sure to check your roof regularly. It is essential to replace or repair any damaged shingles as water can easily seep through cracks. Trees near the roof should be trimmed to prevent branches from causing damage by rubbing or falling on it. In winter, it is a good idea to regularly remove accumulated snow and ice which create considerable weight on the house.

It is also important to clean the gutters since accumulated leaves and debris can easily clog them, causing water to rise to the fascia board and roof. Furthermore, it is necessary to avoid any overflow caused by obstructions, as this excess water falls very near the foundation.

“A simple and effective way to prevent debris from clogging gutters is to install gutter protection,” says Jonathan Boulanger, the product development manager at Alu-Rex, a leading name in rain gutter products. Take time to learn about this option first however. For example, Boulanger warns against the low-end gutter protection systems because large holes allow leaves into the gutter making the installation useless. Instead, choose a product that offers the perfect balance between water drainage and debris filtration.

In the same way, home foundations are also vulnerable to water infiltration and must be protected. First, check for cracks, since any opening in the foundation can cause major problems.

“Ensure that water is directed away from the house,” Boulanger continues. “A slight slope in the ground a few feet around the foundation is usually sufficient. Also, make sure that downspouts carry rainwater away from the foundation. To that effect, you can use one of our downspout extensions. They will carry water far away from the home, preventing water infiltration in the foundation.”

Most of all, avoid unnecessary hassles, he says. Make sure to regularly inspect the roof, windows, gutters and foundation to avoid costly repair due to negligence. A house is a significant investment, protect it.

Additional information to protect your home is available online at alu-rex.com.

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