March brings a glimmer of hope to those of us in the Greater Boston area that the snows of the winter are (hopefully) past and warmer / brighter days are ahead. Unfortunately, March also ushers in the rainy period where every few years we seem to get a "100 year storm".
Nothing is more frustrating to home sellers and home owners than to deal with wet basements and water issues. Water issues are also frustrating for home buyers that love a house but it has a water issue because of the lack of maintenance of gutters / downspouts, grading and sump pumps.
Now is a great time to take a little time (and maybe a few dollars) to help get ready for the spring rains:
Check your roof for missing shingles, loose flashing, missing chimney mortar and other damage that can let water in.
Clean out your gutters and downspouts. The rain needs someplace to go when it hits the roof. If you live in a building with a flat roof, check to make sure the roof drains are free and clear of debris.
Check that downspouts are diverting water away from the foundation
Check that the grading along the foundation is sloping away from the house - many times snow plows can dig up debris which traps rainwater along the foundation
Check your sump pump to make sure it is working properly - if it is getting old, pick up a spare so you have it when you need it and consider getting a back up power source so if the power goes out, the pump can continue working
Check the storm drains in the street near your house - if they are clogged and full of debris, call your local city or town water / sewer department and have them send a crew out to clean them out
Talk to your insurance agent about obtaining flood insurance - in most cases a homeowners policy will not cover losses from a flood
Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!