In my last post, I told you about the importance of sump pumps, along with an easy way to check to make sure yours is working. Today, I’m going to discuss some of the things you can do outside of your home to keep that water from getting into your home in the first place. Most of these are things that are easy to do, and can be done by your average homeowner. You shouldn’t need a lot of expensive tools, and it shouldn’t take very long.
First, take a good look around the perimeter of the house. What we’re going to be looking for first are grading issues. Ideally, any water that lands on your yard should make its way about ten feet from your home. To do this, the grading around the house needs to be right. Ideally, you need the ground to drop away from your house at a rate of about 2 to 3 inches for every 10 feet. Another thing to check for, especially after a heavy rain, is areas around the house where water is standing, like in the first picture above. This will help you determine where your biggest problem areas are. If there hasn’t been a good heavy rain recently, use your garden hose, and water the area around the house heavily to see if there are any puddles. Any small holes where water collects should be filled with topsoil, which you can buy bags of at your local hardware store. Ideally, you should only need a couple of shovels and a good rake to do this job. If your grading is particularly bad, I would recommend calling a few landscaping companies to get estimates. Chances are pretty good that they have the equipment and know-how to get it done in just a few hours, instead of a few days!
The next thing to look for is the condition of your gutters. We all know that gutters need to be cleaned once or twice a year. But really, when was the last time you did it? If you’re like most people, it’s easy to forget, and several years can go by before you remember to do it. Excessive debris in your gutters can cause malfunctions from overspilling to detaching from your house! After the gutters are all cleaned out, check to see where they’re emptying. Is there a big hole underneath the downspout where the water runs right up against your foundation? Do you have downspout extenders? How about a water runoff drainage system installed underground? Does it work properly? An average roof can get about 3,500 gallons of water on it in a good rain! All that water is going to go somewhere, and it’s your gutter’s job to make sure that it doesn’t wind up in your foundation.
As before, you’ll want to make sure that the water hitting your roof gets about 10 feet away from your house, to keep it out of your foundation.
That wraps up some of the simple things you can do to keep your basement or crawl space from flooding. If you have any questions, or would like a free assessment of your flooding risk in the Muncie and New Castle area, let Altra Dry know at 765-836-5005.