As a new homeowner, you may not know much about drainage, but rainwater that isn’t properly drained away from your home and yard can result in high repair costs and mold remediation that can deplete your equity quickly.
So what can you do to avoid drainage problems? Drainage issues are typically manmade and can be easily fixed. Watch how your home performs when it rains for clues.
Check gutters. Rain gutters are designed to route rain into drain spouts that carry water away from your foundation and home. A gutter blocked with leaves and dirt will produce a gush of water that doesn’t reach the drain properly. Preventive maintenance like keeping gutters clear of debris can help prevent damage to the siding and structure of your home.
Look for yard erosion. Puddles, gullies and pools caused by rain are exacerbated by yards without poor sloping, eroding topsoil, missing downspouts and catch basins, and breaks in underground drains. Where the rain collects can tell you what action to take, from rerouting drain spouts, to installing decorative “dry” creek beds of rocks and stone, to installing additional drains under the soil.
Look for basement puddles. A yard that slopes toward the house, clogged gutters, cracks in the foundation, and inadequate landscape drainage can lead to puddles in the basement. If there are stains and mildew near the ceiling, then it’s a drainage issue. If they appear near the floor, there could be broken drainage pipes under or near the house.