Seattle is known all over the world for the iconic Space Needle and for being the birthplace of Grunge music. It is also known for a cool and moderate climate and for having both access to beautiful forests and a bustling seaport. It has a lot of tourist hotspots, a thriving performing arts culture, and world-class musical history. Seattle’s skyline is among the most beautiful in the country. It draws the attention of investors because of its location and beautiful weather. One thing that most of the locals are not crazy about is the rain.
It’s always rainy in Seattle
Seattle has earned an international reputation for being a rainy city. There are more rainy days in Seattle than in London, which is another city well known for being rainy. Seattle has seen many more rainy days than any other U.S city. Seattle locals are used to this fact and actually embrace it. Why not? It is an amazing place to live in and the winters are milder than some places with notoriously unforgiving winters (looking at you, New York!) On the average, it rains about 150 days out of the 365 days in a year in Seattle. In fact, last year (2018) it rained 157 days out of 365 which is drier than 2017 (with a recorded 162 days of rain) and 2016 (with a recorded 172 days of rain).
To put this into perspective, the probability of rain in Seattle is 4 days out of every 10. Which means that if you own real estate in the area, it is more prone to water damage than anywhere else in the country. This is why protecting your property from water damage is extremely important. Left unaddressed, water can cause some serious issues in your property and may even cause structural damage.
The first line of defense
The first line of defense against water damage is a very well built drainage system. This doesn’t only include drains but also includes the roof and gutters as well as anything else that drains water away from your property. Have your property inspected by professionals. But if you don’t have time to do that if you want to make a preliminary inspection yourself, here’s a handy checklist of things to look out for:
❏ Inspect the roof – do this before and after the rainy season. Yes. Seattle has a dry season. Summer and spring are usually sunny and dry.
❏ Inspect for debris that could lead to roof damage – debris after a thunderstorm or a winter storm can cause tears, holes, and cracks on the roof of your property. Clear out the debris and inspect for damage so that you can address the damage accordingly.
❏ Watch out for warped shingles – a roof shingle is a roof covering consisting of overlapping materials. If these come loose or become warped, it can cause water to leak into the property.
❏ Clean the gutter – this is an often overlooked part of the inspection. Gutters do not clean themselves and if left uncleaned, can lead to damage to drain pipes, clogging, rusting, and very expensive repairs.
❏ Inspect the drains – where does the water drain into? Does it flow away from the property? Or does it flow back into the foundation? If it does, it could undermine the foundation of your property and could lead to serious damage, so be careful.
❏ Inspect the lawn or yard – this will give you a clue as to where the water drains to. Good drainage is essential to combat water damage so take note of areas where water has pooled or where the soil has eroded. “A saturated yard can eventually cause water to build back up around the foundation of the home, rendering your other work irrelevant,” says SFGate’s Homeguides.
❏ Inspect the inside of your property – inspection is incomplete without inspecting the inside of your property. Take note of the walls, especially the load bearing ones that hold the foundation up. Start from the basement and work your way up. Look for water stains or signs of mold. Also check the windows for cracks, leaks, and molds. Speaking of molds, they can not only cause property damage by weakening structural walls, but they can also cause damage to health. Molds can cause respiratory damage and nasal congestion among others. The attic is notorious for harboring molds, so pay close attention to that part of your property. Molds can hide under insulation and cause health problems. Check chimneys and roof vents as well or any ingress where water can come in.
❏ Check for signs of structural damage inside the property – floors can warp or buckle long after the water has dried out. It could indicate a leak or water seepage. Pipes may bear signs of water damage too. Check for stains and leaks, they usually show up discolored or bearing mold or algal growth.
For you and your tenant’s peace of mind, make sure that your property is safe and free of water damage. Avoid expensive repairs by being vigilant and diligent about after storm inspections. Putting off routine inspections may prove to be more costly in the long run. Sometimes, the water dries out leaving no signs of leaks or cracks. This makes it hard to spot and therefore, repair. Property owners may have a hard time repairing the property once the damage grows bigger, so it is best to address problems right away. Seattle is a beautiful city. Don’t let the rains dampen your spirits or your income earning potential.
Constant rains mean constant inspection. We understand that this can be difficult if you are managing several properties or if you are living away from your property. There are so many things that an amateur inspector can miss if they don’t know what to look for. Your best bet is to seek help from professionals. They have specialized tools that can help accurately assess water damage. If you need help with maintenance and regular inspections, we can help you! Schedule a consultation with Davis Property Management today. Call us at 425-658-7471 and we can help you coordinate regular property inspections and more!