Spring is here, and that means beautiful flowers, green lawns, and rain!

Spring showers bring… leaking basements

We all know spring brings lots of rain, and sometimes combines with snow melt to make for a soggy mess.  Did you know that the number one cause for foundation issues is water?  Water buildup creates hydrostatic pressure on your foundation walls, and is continually pushing until it either dries up, finds another way out, or even worse, finds a way in.  It will affect your home in a few of the following ways:

  • Foundation settling
  • Differential movement
  • Stair stepped brick cracking
  • Door Jambs rubbing
  • Water leaking into the basement

The best way for you to avoid all these issues is to control the water. Make sure you have positive drainage away from your home at a minimum of 1/4″ of drop per 1′-0″ of run. Make sure it slopes away for a good 5′-10′. Also, the easiest, and by far cheapest way to control the water, is downspout extensions.  Don’t let water just flow onto splash blocks, these will settle over time and start pushing water back towards your home. The best way is with 5′-0″ long, or longer, downspout extensions pushing water away from your home.

Flower beds against the home are also hidden leaking spots because over time, digging and mulching in flower beds hides negative drainage. If the bottom of your mulch is lower than the lawn next to it, water is directed towards your home! Landscaping like trees can also cause issues with clogged downspouts. Clogged downspouts blocks the path for water, and subsequently it just pours over your gutter and onto the ground. If you see water pouring out of your gutters, call a professional gutter cleaning service to have them cleaned.  While they’re out there, ask them to trim any trees above your roof line and take a look at the grading.

If you have a basement, the final measure you need to take is having a sump pump installed.  If the sump pump is running, it’s already too late, but at least the water is being controlled and will be pumped out as it comes in.  Sump pumps don’t prevent damage, but they do minimize damage.

I hope this gave you potential insight to keep your house dry this spring and summer. Water is very unforgiving in homes, but cheap downspout extensions are a great way to start protecting yourself.