Portland’s rainy season is in full swing. There is so much to think about at this time of year: How to stay active, how to stay warm and dry, the holidays are coming…. One of the most important elements to add to that list is your house. The rainy climate of the Pacific Northwest can quickly cause major damage to a house unless you stay alert.
In some areas of our region, as much as 16 feet of rain can fall annually. That’s a lot of water!
Here are a few areas to watch out for during the rainy fall, winter and spring months in Portland.
Check for Pooling Water and Puddles
It’s one of the most natural things in the world: kids love to splash in puddles! But at the same time, puddles around your home are definitely something you want to pay attention to. As soon as it begins to rain in earnest, pop on your rain jacket and head outside for a quick nut attentive assessment of your space.
Water pooling up around your foundation or flowing toward your house can cause serious damage to the foundation of your home - a costly problem that’s easily preventable. You may have a drainage issue. Talk with a landscape expert or move the slope of the yard around on your own. Sometimes the water pools away from the house then flows back toward the house. You may be able to easily redirect that pool away from the house with some landscaping changes, an underground drain pipe, french drain or other technique.
How to Clean Your Gutters
It’s important that your gutters can efficiently handle large volumes of water in our rainy winter months. Check your gutters early in the season. If you have a one-story house (or if you are ambitious) you may be able to clean the gutters yourself. Many companies in the Portland region offer roof cleaning and gutter cleaning services, regular maintenance you should consider annually.
Inspect your gutters. If you see water flowing over the top of the gutter at any point, or if you see a downspout with no water flowing through it, your gutters need some attention. If you can, get on a ladder and look into your gutters for debris that may be clogging them. It’s easy to pull out debris if you can easily reach your gutters.
Working on a ladder in the rainy season is dangerous and challenging, which is why this work is sometimes best left to the experts.
If debris from trees falls on your house, you will definitely want to consider this an annual maintenance project and check your gutters twice a year. Keeping your roof clean will help protect the roof for years to come. Cleaning out the gutters ensures water flows where it should, not around the foundation of your home.
Inspect your Attic and Crawl Space
Yes, it’s true: your attic and crawl space need to be inspected periodically. For most of us, we never lay eyes on either of these two tucked-away areas of the home, which is why it’s even more important to check in on them one a year.
A quick overview will suffice. Set about your inspection after a long hard rain. For your attic, carefully get into the space with bright lights and have a look around, up and down. Be sure to look in the deep corners, too. For your crawlspace, you can probably look down into it with bright lights and see a lot of the space. If not, you may need to go down in there (or hire someone to do that).
Be on the lookout for stained walls (greyed plywood is an indicator of water damage), pools of water, an overly musty smell, moisture or other aspects that don’t seem right. If you spot any of the above, call in an expert right away. Once water damage begins in your attic or crawl space, it can quickly escalate into major a major problem.
Rainy Portland Maintenance Checklist
Home maintenance matters! This quick check of your Pacific Northwest home will ensure it’s warm and cozy throughout the rainy season. Once winter hits, contractors are booked up with emergency repairs left and right. It’s better to take a look now and prevent mishaps before they cause serious damage to your home.
Protect your investment and admire your home as you spend an afternoon conquering this checklist.
YARD - check for standing water
FOUNDATION - check for standing water
GUTTERS - ensure they are flowing properly and aren’t clogged
ROOF - check for excessive debris
ATTIC + CRAWL SPACE - check for moisture, an overly musty smell, water damage, discolored wood or standing water.