It doesn’t take a genius to know that standing water in your home is a sign of poor drainage, but many signs of poor drainage are more subtle and easy to miss. According to HomeAdvisor.com the average homeowner spends between $1,079 and $4,099 to restore or repair water damage. Many of these water damage costs are due to improper water drainage outside the home.
Alert homeowners are attuned to these less noticeable signs and check for them regularly, so they can catch drainage problems before they cause major damage. We have seen that a simple change to a neighbors yard, an add-on, or other changes can cause a drainage issue. Read on to learn what to look for:
Indicators of Drainage Issues:
1. Downspouts that dump water too close to the house
As little as 1” of rain, falling on 1,000 square feet of roof, produces more than 600 gallons of water runoff – that’s 10 bathtubs full of water! Dumping that much water too close to your foundation can result in flooding of your home. Even if your home doesn’t flood, continually dumping that much water near the foundation causes the water to seep deep into the ground and put pressure on your foundation, causing foundation cracks. Once this damage occurs, fixing it is pricey and can easily cost $30,000 as an excavation of the foundation is needed.
The easy fix?
Add gutter extensions (approximately $10 per 10 feet) to the bottom of your drain spout to carry the water at least 5 feet away from the house.
2. Water Gushing Over the Edge of Gutters
If you see a spontaneous waterfall starting to gush over the edge of one of your gutters, that’s a sign that leaves and debris are clogging the gutter and blocking the water flow. Even when it’s not raining, telltale signs of gutter blockage are easy to see: vertical streaks of dirt on the outside edges of gutters, mud or streaks on siding, or paint peeling in streaks down the side of the house.
Take immediate action if you see these signs to avoid further damage to siding and paint and structural damage to the house. Hire the professionals at Cornerstone Landscape to come and clear the downspout, and ask about gutter guards that will prevent recurrence. We can also evaluate your current gutter system to make sure it isn’t undersized or improperly pitched.
3. Water Stains on the lower part of the exterior walls
Inspect your baseboards and the area where the floors and walls meet on exterior walls for water stains. Vertical water stains running down the walls indicate that surface water outside is not draining away from the house and is instead seeping into the soil around your foundation. Downspout extensions or re-grading the soil may be necessary.
If you see stains around the outside edge of the walls, you may have issues with a high water table or municipal storm drain backups. In both cases, the installation of a sump pump will eliminate the problem.
4. Cracks in the Foundation
Although many houses have small cracks which occur from the house settling over time, larger cracks can be a cause for concern. Any crack larger than 1/8” wide should be monitored; mark the outside edges with a pencil and measure the width periodically to be sure it’s not getting bigger. If it does, call in a structural engineer to help pinpoint the problem and recommend how to repair it before further damage occurs.
5. Flaking or Deposits on Walls
Inspect your walls for areas of gray or white crusting, a sign of mineral deposits left behind by evaporated water. Any patches where the cement or brick itself is flaking off is also a cause for concern. If you see these signs, hire a professional to inspect them and pinpoint the source of the water causing them to occur.
6. Movement of Mulch
If your gutters aren’t working properly, or your soil doesn’t drain the way it should, rain will cause gulleys to form, carving out little pathways through your mulch and depositing your mulch in places it doesn’t belong.
Catching this early can avoid costly issues, such as erosion of the gravel and sand under your patio or walkway. The experienced landscapers at Cornerstone Landscaping will be able to redirect the flow of water and solve the issue if you catch it soon enough.
7. Smelling or finding mildew
Finding or smelling mildew is not a good sign and must be addressed immediately. Inspect both the home and the attic for mildew signs and smells. If water is seeping in the home, mildew and mold can start to form on walls, carpeting, trim, and other areas. If you have seen this, ask for a mold test for a professional restoration company.
Another important place to inspect is your attic. Moisture from your crawl space or basement can rise through the house and condense on the underside of your roof, eventually causing damage to roof sheathing and shingles.
If you see signs of a drainage issue it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible. Doing it yourself can be risky as some drainage issues can be very complex and if not properly handled, the problem may reoccur.
At Cornerstone Landscapes, our certified team brings a wealth of experience to each drainage job. We don’t just find and solve your drainage problems; we offer solutions that will beautify your landscape and enhance your outdoor space. Our designers will work with you to discuss different solutions and help you choose the one that adds the aesthetic look to your yard that complements your current residential or commercial landscape. Call us today at (662) 501-0181 to schedule a consultation.Tags: Drainage