You need to hurricane-proof your house even though we’ll never get one

Watching Houston and now the Carolinas being pounded by hurricanes I’ve had two reactions. The first is I’m thankful it can’t happen here – we’ll never get their direct hurricane experience sitting out here in the heartland. But the second is that sometimes we DO get that type of weather, just dished out differently – shorter bursts of heavy downpours and powerful winds, and days instead of hours when the groundwater builds up to levels that can flood a house.

So the bottom line is, St Louisans need to hurricane-proof their homes even though we’ll never get one. But, where do you begin?

The first step is to go around your house to personally thank all the water stains, swelling drywall, wall cracks, and rotted wood along your outer walls. They have been trying to get your attention to tell you something important – water is entering your home around here and you’ll be sorry if you put off stopping these leaks until it’s too late. Here’s where to look first.

Windows
Check the tops of your window sills, the drywall on the sides and top, plus the corners on the side of each window ledge. See any water stains, peeling paint, rotted wood, or bulges in the wall? If you do, call Fix St Louis to stop the leak by caulking and flashing (no, not that kind), then restoring the damaged areas.

Entry Doors
On the outside, check the outside frame of your doors at the bottom for rotting. On the inside, look for water-stained floors and drywall damage at the bottom of the door frame on each side. Then call Fix St Louis to fix any leaks using the same techniques as for windows, plus realigning your door, and possibly replacing the weatherstripping, door sweep, and/or threshold.

Top Floor Ceilings
See any water stains on the ceilings of the rooms that are just below your attic? Call a roofer to fix your roof leak, then call Fix St Louis to restore and paint your damaged ceiling.

Basements
Has water been leaking through small cracks in your basement walls, or has your floor or carpeting next to finished walls been getting wet? Call a basement/foundation company to investigate and/or get that leak fixed, then call Fix St Louis to restore the damaged areas. You might also have to call a landscape company to change the slope of the ground so it directs water away from your house, or call us to clean your overflowing gutters.

So, beyond making donations, and hoping & praying for our fellow Americans in the Carolinas, let’s add a couple of things. Listen to the wet and damaged parts of your house and, when it comes to repairs, don’t wait for a rainy day.

Dr Steve

Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

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