4 Unexpected House Problems Caused by Rain

Rain hitting a tin roof

Rain; we need it to replenish our lawns and gardens but when it causes problems to our home, that's a different matter and one that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. While it may not seem like rain could be a villain wreaking havoc on the house, there are situations where too much of a good thing (rain) poses unforeseen issues. Consider the following and take appropriate steps to keep your home safe, secure, and in good condition.

1. Overload Rain Gutters

Rain gutters provide a much needed service to gather rain water and divert it to a downspout where it is then directed away from the home where it can flow evenly into the yard or garden.

Several frequent issues that cause rain gutters to overflow are:

Clogging of the downspout

Not enough tilt

Too much tilt

Gutters are too small

The downspout can become clogged in the event the rainwater running into the downspout contains debris such as leaves, twigs, acorns, or dirt build up. The debris impedes the flow causing the water to back up and overflow the gutters.

If the gutters do not have enough tilt to allow gravity to move the water, it will stand in one spot and not move towards the downspout. This causes the gutters to overflow.

Too much tilt can also cause too much water to attempt to enter the downspout and results in an overflow situation.

It is possible for the gutters to be too small to accommodate the amount of rainwater for your region. If this is the case, there will be an overflow.

2. Foundation Damage Due to Over-flowing Gutters

The situations listed above that lead to overflowing gutters have a negative effect on the foundation of the home. With large amounts of water pouring from overflowing gutters without being redirected via the downspout results in too much water accumulation close to the perimeter of the home where it may pool and stand until it's absorbed.

The constant pounding of rainwater into these areas in essence "beats down" the earth causing the soil to become less compacted, which can lead to unevenness in the ground surrounding the foundation of the home.

3. Hail Damage to Roofing

A person holding hail

During severe thunder storms when hail is generated, the roof takes a pounding from the combination of the heavy rain and the hail. These sharp pelts can damage roofing materials such as asphalt shingles or rolled roofing used on flat or near flat roofs. These tiny holes allow water to seep through to the underlying material and on into the ceiling of your home.

A leaking roof can lead to interior damage such as:

Water spots on the ceiling resulting in material damage

Damage to drywall, laminate flooring, and carpet

Moisture that leads to mold and mildew accumulation

Damage to interior and exterior doors by leaking water that lead to the door material swelling

Damage to window frames if the water is leaking around the window seams

If the rain is heavy and the roof has a substantial leak, this can also lead to interior flooding

4. Chimneys

Homes with a chimney should be inspected to ensure there are no cracks or gaps between the bricks that would allow rain water to enter causing interior damage.

The chimney should also have a cap installed to prevent rainwater from entering. This is especially important if you live in an area prone to frequent stormy weather.

To help not be caught off guard by unexpected problems due to rain, do a visual check of your roof for any damage, inspect areas around the doors, windows, and foundation for cracks and seal them. If necessary, have a roofing contractor inspect the roof and chimney and consider having the bricks waterproofed as an added measure of precaution against rainwater and moisture.