Drainage Around a Foundation Is Important
It’s both easier and cheaper to install a good drainage system that it is to fix a damaged foundation. A good drainage system will necessarily include enough drains of the right size, as well as regular maintenance checks.
Common Foundation Drainage Mistakes
Installing a drain too close to your foundation:
Not taking into account buried utility lines:
Not ensuring that drainage pipes slope downhill:
Not using smooth, PVC pipe with holes in it:
Not making sure the holes in the drainage pipe face downwards:
Using base stone as drainage rock instead of clear stone in your French drain:
Signs You Might Have a Foundation Drainage Problem
- Overflowing gutters. If you see a lot of water gushing out over the edge of your gutters, your downspout might be clogged with dead leaves and other types of debris. When this happens, you might see mud splattered on the side of the house near the downspout, or even peeling paint. Simply cleaning the gutters and downspout of debris might fix the problem. If it doesn’t, you might need to replace the gutter because either it’s pitch is incorrect, or it’s too small.
- You have a lot of water around your foundation. If your downspouts are dumping water too close to your home, your soil could get saturated and this could then lead to the destabilization of your foundation. This can happen when heavily saturated soil puts pressure on foundation walls causing them to crack. Therefore, make sure all gutters drain at least 6 feet away from your foundation.
- Cracks in your foundation. Foundation cracks can be caused by a variety of reasons, including problems with drainage. If you notice any cracks, measure them (width and length), photograph them, keep an eye on them, and don’t hesitate to contact a foundation repair professional or a structural engineer for an inspection.
- There’s white, powdery stuff on your basement walls. This is called efflorescence, a fancy word for the salt deposits left behind by water. If you see it on your basement walls, you have a problem with excess moisture. Given that, you could have a foundation drainage problem.
- Concrete walls, either inside or outside, are flaking. This is called spalling. It happens when water gets inside the concrete (or brick or stone) and then pushes it outward. This excess moisture might be due to flooding or some other reason. If left unchecked, spalling can affect the building’s structural integrity.
- There’s mold or mildew in your attic. If you notice a problem with mold or mildew in your attic, you might have excess moisture rising up through your house from the crawl space or the basement. In that case, your next step should be finding out why there’s excess moisture in your basement or crawl space. Who knows. You might have a foundation drainage problem.
Read more about – How water seepage can affect your home’s foundation?