How to Prevent Water Damage in Highland Park, IL

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: October 18, 2023

When stormy weather blows through Lake County, it often causes water damage to Highland Park homes and businesses. Plumbing breakdowns take a serious toll on area properties too.

We’ve seen it all, so we understand how hard it is to manage water emergencies. ServiceMaster by Zaba has provided professional water damage restoration for Highland Park residents for over 15 years.

That deep industry experience positions us to share important information about preventing water damage at the house or your workplace. Read on for preventative water damage strategies that really work.

How to Prevent Water Damage at Your Highland Park Home

Exterior Storm Water Damage

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Whether it’s heavy snowmelt or storm flooding in Highland Park, these actions help prevent exterior water damage.

1. Check the Roof

Head up the ladder, and take a look at your roof’s condition. Damaged shingles, exposed underlayment and loose flashing are all vulnerable to rain and snow. 

Take care of repairs right away, or call a roofing professional.

Power Tip: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba recommends, “You can often detect roof leaks with an attic inspection. Look for wet rafters, stains on beams and ceiling cracks under roof joins.”

2. Keep Gutters Clear

Overflowing gutters push heavy rains down exteriors and inside wall voids. Keep sections clog-free by regularly clearing out leaves and debris.

Make sure downspout connections are secure and direct water away from your home’s foundation.

Power Tip: Check downspouts from the ground with the garden hose. Aim a strong stream of water up and into the gutter a few feet before it connects with the downspout.

3. Grade the Yard

Storm runoff or snowmelts can flood lawns in Highland Park, impacting foundations, driveways and sidewalks. Grade the yard so that it gradually slopes away from the house.

Consider installing French drains in areas that tend to pond during heavy rains.

Power Tip: This water damage prevention strategy also controls erosion and encourages healthy lawn growth.

Basement Water Damage

basement water damage highland-park

Head off flooding downstairs by staying ahead of problems that cause water damage in the basement.

4. Seal Wall Cracks

As the water table here in Lake County fluctuates, it exerts hydrostatic pressure on home foundations. That force often results in cracked basement walls.

Keep water damage from seeping into the basement by sealing wall cracks with hydraulic cement.

Power Tip: Before making repairs, make sure your work sticks by removing paint or efflorescence from cracked walls.

5. Clear Wells and Drains

Dirt and leaves eventually clog basement window wells and exterior basement door drains. Inspect and clean both several times a year. Double-check wells and drains when the weather forecast predicts heavy rain.

Power Tip: Consider installing basement window well covers that keep rainwater from flooding the well.

6. Maintain the Sump Pump

The sump pump prevents water damage in the basement, but it can’t do its job without regular maintenance.

Clean out the pump basin and inspect the discharge pipes several times a year. Always confirm the pump’s condition ahead of any potential storm flooding.

Power Tip: If storms knock out the power, a battery backup keeps an electric sump pump running, and that keeps floodwater damage out of the basement.

Interior Water Damage

interior water damage highland park

Regardless of the source, interior water damage spreads quickly. Stop it before it happens with these simple tactics.

7. Insulate Attic and Basement Pipes

Freezing temperatures and wind chill advisories blow through Highland Park every winter. Protect your home’s interiors from burst pipe water damage by insulating pipes in the basement and attic.

Don’t forget to insulate plumbing in the garage or storage shed.

Power Tip: Last year’s insulation may not be ready for this year’s freeze. Dampness, insects and age can degrade fibers and materials, so always check it to be sure.

8. Stay Leak Aware

Undetected leaks behind walls cause serious interior water damage. Be aware of the clues to hidden leaks. Musty odors, dark streaks, odd stains and mold growth are signs of plumbing problems that need attention right away.

Power Tip: Leaky pipes happen overhead too. If the general area of a leak doesn’t seem to be in a wall, take a look up at the ceiling.

9. Keep Appliances in Good Shape

The dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator and water heater are potential sources of interior water damage. Keep the appliances in good working condition by following manufacturers’ instructions for safe use.

Regularly inspect hoses and connections, and look under the appliances for any signs of leaks.

Power Tip: Think about installing a water leak detector in the basement or laundry room. The latest models connect to smart home devices and act as water-damage alert systems.

Long-Term Planning in Case of Water Damage

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Smart water damage prevention minimizes the risk of storm flooding and plumbing disasters. However, it’s best to be ready for the worst with long-term planning.

  • Understand Your Risk – With more than 20% of Lake County covered by surface water, storm flooding is always a concern. Check online resources to determine if floodwater damage is a threat to your home or business.
  • Update Insurance Coverage – Review your insurance policy for details about your current water damage coverage. You may want to update the information. If you don’t have flood insurance, ask your agent for advice on purchasing coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Partner With Water Damage Professionals – A professional restoration company, like ServiceMaster by Zaba, provides emergency water damage cleanup in Highland Park. Connect with certified restoration professionals now so that you’ll be ready for the worst.

Are You Prepared for Water Damage at Your Highland Park Home or Business? We’re Here to Help.

We hope our guide gives you the information you need to prevent water damage at the house and your workplace. If a water emergency does impact your Highland Park property, we’re here to help 24/7.

Whether it’s stormwater damage or the aftermath of a plumbing disaster, you can count on ServiceMaster by Zaba. Our teams are standing by, always ready for your call: 847-459-3900.

Helpful Resources for Highland Park Residents

Understand Your Flood Risk – FEMA

Stormwater Management – Highland Park

How to File a Flood Insurance Claim – FEMA

What is the average cost of water damage cleanup in Highland Park?

On average, the cost of water damage cleanup in Highland Park runs from $1,300 to $5,500. Extensive floodwater damage, Category 3 water contamination and widespread structural damages add to the final cost.

How does interior water damage result in long-term problems?

Excess humidity in water-damaged interiors permeates porous materials. The damp environment breeds unhealthy mold growth that spreads into adjacent areas. Wood rot is also a serious concern. Left untreated, the results are long-term structural damages.

Will my homeowners insurance policy cover water damage from storm flooding?

No. Homeowners insurance covers most water damage resulting from plumbing breakdowns, but you need to purchase separate coverage for natural flood events. Ask your insurance agent about buying coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.