Drainage Problems and Cures

Water becomes a problem in the home when there is not adequate drainage. The basic function of a drainage system is to direct water away from the home so that it does not seep into the ground directly in contact with the foundation of the home. If this does not happen then there are a number of problems which can occur around the foundation, basement and home. For instance, if water is allowed to run too close to the foundation then it can cause the walls of the basement to buckle inwards. An indication of this problem is a crack or cracks one or two blocks below the grade or the windowsill. Another problem which can be caused by inadequate drainage is that water will show the weak points in your foundation and basement. After a rain, there are a number of clues Ward construction can pick up. If there are weaknesses or leaks in your basement, and water appears a few hours after the rain then the leak is caused by surface water draining too close to the house. If however the leak only appears the following day then the water table around the home is too high. All of the problems mentioned can be cured by putting a good drainage system in place and maintaining it well. Gutters and downspouts are an ally in the fight against damp and leakage. Clogged gutters can overflow and send the water straight down to the ground around your foundation. The soil can then become sodden, leaving the water nowhere to go, other than the foundation. The simplest solution is to keep the gutters clear and to make sure the downspouts are a suitable distance from the walls of the home. This simple solution will prevent leakage into the basement and buckling of the walls. Another step which can be taken, once the drainage has been sorted out, is to damp-proof the utility line penetrations into the foundation and basement and to damp-proof the foundation as a whole. Most modern homes are already damp-proofed and doing it retroactively can be a big job, but the most important cure to drainage problems is to properly maintain the gutters and downspouts and direct as much water as possible away from the soil around the foundation.

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