Water can cause an unbelievable amount of damage to the interior of your home: beyond simply causing staining, discoloration, and structural damage to furniture and various surfaces within your home, water damage can also contribute to mold and mildew growth, which are serious health concerns that can affect your lungs and respiratory system with prolonged exposure. Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take to help protect your home against potential water damage.
One of the primary methods that water can enter your home is because of improperly functioning gutters and downspouts. Clogs, physical damage, and downspouts that do not go far enough away from the side of your home can allow water pathways into your attic, behind your siding, and into your basement, respectively. In order to ensure that your gutters continue to protect your home from water damage, you may want to consider installing gutter screens: these installations will keep debris out of your gutters, making clogs much less likely and ensuring that you only have to clean your gutters once or twice a season. You may also want to consider installing longer downspouts to ensure proper drainage of water into your landscape.
To prevent against basement and foundation flooding, you should also make sure that you have a working sump pump in your basement. This prevents water from rising up from the water table and into your basement, and will kick in automatically during times of heavy storms. For the best peace of mind, you may want to consider installing two sump pumps: a main pump that is attached to your home's electrical system that can move a larger amount of water at once, and a backup pump that is battery powered that will work in the event of a power failure that prevents your main pump from operating.
If your basement is unfinished, with exposed concrete walls, you may want to consider using a basement waterproof sealant on the walls every year or so. These sealants are applied in the same manner as paint directly onto your concrete walls, but act as a waterproof barrier that prevents moisture from passing through the concrete and into your basement. Alternatively, though at a much higher investment, you may want to consider finishing your basement. Such a remodeling process will include installing a vapor barrier or another waterproofing method along the walls of your basement, making water damage much less likely and greatly expanding the amount of livable space that you have in your home.