5 Ways You Can Save the Costs of Water Damage
For homeowners, there is nothing worse than water hanging around your house. It freezes, it makes things slippery, muddy and it starts to smell when it stays too long. Even worse, water build up and pooling can have serious effects on the health of your exterior foundation and basement.
Water stuck near your foundation will eventually deteriorate your the walls of your home. The water will find and stay in the lowest points freezing and thawing, which will break open gaps in your foundation. The best way to combat this is to redirect as much water away from the home as you can, and we have 5 effective ways you can do this.
Here are the 5 Ways You Can Save the Costs of Water Damage…
1. Proper Grading
Sloping water away from the exterior foundation is the best way to prevent basement leaks. Most homes do not have proper grading and will cause water to pool up and stagnate in places where it could be harmful to your foundation. When snow melts, all that water stays stored on top of your foundation and does not move which makes properly done grading important.
Grading can be done using top soil that starts from the base of the foundation and extends away from the house, or extends to a drainage point. A good rule of thumb is to create a height difference of a minimum of 3 inches between the highest and lowest points of the slope. Ultimately, this will depend on the amount of space you have to work with. Try to extend your grading
As you are doing your landscaping, it’s a perfect opportunity to check for spots where water can not naturally filter away from your walls. Also check to make sure your topsoil has not settled and build the slope back up if it has.
2. Unclogging Eavestroughs and Downpipes
Cleaning your eavestroughs and downpipes seasonally is another great way of preventing water penetration. Leaves and dirt (especially in the autumn season) will build up and block water from flowing through your gutters and away from the house.
If left unblocked, the excess water has a chance of spilling out onto your foundation. In the winter time, the water in your gutter system will freeze and damage your eavestrough and downpipes. Even worse, your eavestrough could come crashing down on your property due to the excess weight.
A lot of homeowners forget to check their gutters because they are often high up and inaccessible from ground level. If this sounds familiar to you, regular maintenance can be assisted by installing plastic or metal gutter guards that allow water through but stop larger objects like leaves and branches. This will allow you to maintain your gutters less frequently.
3. Downpipe Extensions
Once your gutters and downpipes are clean it’s important to make sure the water coming out of them is landing away from the house. Many homeowners do not think about extending their downpipe system to allow water flow away from the house.
There are a few ways of doing this. Just like the downpipe coming down the side of the house, you can connect another pipe using an elbow piece and directing the second pipe away from the house.
Sometimes placing a solid extension where your downpipe is installed can be a problem due to space, so consider using a flexible downspout extension to get around the issue. Most downspout extensions are able to expand up to 4 or more feet and are great for wrapping around corners. This will help you further redirect water away from the house, but do be mindful of where you place the end of the pipe. Displace the water in a safe spot that will not become a problem for you later.
4. Fix Existing Cracks and Joints in your Exterior Foundation
Your exterior is only as strong as it’s weak points when it comes to water penetration. If you take a walk around the perimeter of your house, you are bound to find nooks and crannies that will need fixing.
Common places where water can flow through include:
- The joint between your concrete pad and asphalt driveway
- Patio and Interlocking stones that have not been properly sealed with polymeric sand.
- Small or hairline cracks in the concrete
- Joints in your basement windows that have old caulking
And while these small fixes do not 100% prevent water from penetrating the home, they are great for helping prevent further damage to your foundation and prevent disasters that could happen down the road.
5. Having A Good Drainage System
Easily the most important one on this list is having a good draining system that will include a combination weeping tile, drainage beds and window wells. This system works together to drain water through the layer of ¾ gravel down to the 4 inch black piping that is perforated to accept water. The water that drains through flows through the weeping tiles displacing the water to a drainage point and throughout the ground.
Window wells are necessary when you have basement windows inset at ground level. The circle shaped metal separates the ground with your window and allows water to flow down to the gravel bedding and weeping tile installed inside the well. A window well cover is placed over the opening to prevent an excess of water that could be difficult to drain through the system.
When this system fails, it’s not easy to fix because of the pipes being laid in the ground. These pipes will get clogged up over time either by the crushed stone above it or other forms of aggregate that is in the ground. In order to fix them, it requires digging through the ground to where the pipes sit by the concrete footing.