Take action now against yard drainage hazards
Spring is traditionally the time to get our yards ready for the summer ahead. One area of concern is poor drainage, which can leave your home’s structure at risk for serious and costly problems. Not only can drainage problems lead to unusable landscape, musty odors, and lingering pools of water, it can also cause property damage that may not be covered by home insurance. Erosion and cracking of concrete sidewalks, patios, retaining walls, fences and foundations are all caused by poor drainage. When water enters a gap or crack in these materials, it puts intense pressure on the foundations causing unexpected problems. Further side effects of poor drainage are moss, mildew, insects, and rodents.
Since sunny weather is approaching, now is a good time to remedy any drainage issues. Not only will your property be more enjoyable now, but it will be protected through the rain and storm season next fall and winter.
Tips to maintain your drains
- Ensure your gutters and downspouts are in proper working order to direct any water away from your home and foundation.
- Have exterior drains cleaned, as plugged drains can cause excessive pressure on your foundation.
- Hire a professional to inspect your foundation from the exterior and interior (basement/crawlspace). Wall and foundation cracks can lead to water entering your home causing mold and mildew and an unstable foundation.
- Seal concrete and wood structures with a protective coating every couple of years.
- If you have a sump pump, ensure that it is in working order and sizable enough to handle your property.
- If you have any slopes on your property, ensure runoff water is directed to a drainage system such as a pipe or a ditch. Slope stability requires good construction and maintenance to ensure runoff water doesn’t cause erosion or landslides.
- When designing your landscape, keep in mind that generally, water should end up in the street gutter.