When people think of preventing water damage, they immediately think of their sump pumps, floor drains, and foundation cracks. It’s funny how most people ignore the most important preventative measure there is from keeping rainfall from seeping down the side of your foundation and into your basement. What am I talking about? I’m referring to the grade of your landscape – not to be confused as the grade you get in school.
House on a hill
If you have a new home, you’ll notice that your house is on a hill. That hill may not be very big but the dirt at the base of your house is higher up than the outer reaches of your yard. The angle in which the ground slopes away from your house is the grade. The steeper the grade, the fast the water runs away from your house and the better you are at preventing water damage. Older homes were often built on flat land before it was known that grading helped keep basements dry.
If you have an older home or a new home in which the grade of your landscape is not sloping away from your house and allowing water to accumulate at the base of your foundation, you’ll want to follow these simple steps thereby preventing water damage from happening in the future.
- Add dirt, preferably good top soil mixed with some regular brown dirt, to the base of your home and grade it so it slopes away from your house.
- Add mulch to the base of your property at least 2-4 inches thick and 2-3 feet out from your house. This should also be done so it slopes away from your home.
- Remove leaves and debris accumulation from exterior walls.
- Trim trees so they are a few feet away from your outside walls and siding.
- Adjust your sprinklers so they do not spray your house or the mulch around the house.
- Wall cracks, either in the cement between bricks or concrete, should be patched. Tuck-pointing should done if the home is older and show signs of deterioration.
- Gutters should be clean and free of leaves and other debris.
Stop the water from getting inside
Preventing water damage is as easy as focusing on the outside first. Doing so minimizes the ability for water to get inside. Following the steps above will save you time and money in the long run and keep your basement dry. If you have a landscape grade problem that is beyond your level of ability, call Flood Specialists, Inc. for advice or recommendations on landscaping companies who specialize in water damage prevention. It’s still not too late. Do this before the first big snow.