What are the Signs that you Could Have a Drainage Problem?
Drainage issues can happen when you least expect them. Not only can drainage issues wreak havoc on your property, but they can also do quite a bit of damage to your home’s foundation. If you find tiny puddles in your home, or if your yard has areas where water swells and gathers after a rainfall, then you may be experiencing drainage problems. If this occurs, it’s important to get to the root of the problem quickly. When caught early on, most of the time, these issues are easy to fix. However, over time, they can cause damage to your home.
Here are some things to look out for in regards to possible drainage issues:
All too often, we ignore our gutters. One only needs to think of the old adage – out of sight, out of mind. But ignoring your gutters can pose huge problems for your home that lead to costly repairs in the future, including foundation repair. If not maintained, dead leaves, twigs and other foreign objects can block the flow of water, causing gutters to clog. If you notice your gutters overflowing during a rainstorm, they’re likely clogged. Not only are gutters important to avoid drainage problems that can affect your home’s foundation, but keeping your gutters clean and free of debris can also prevent unsightly issues, such as mud splattering on the side of your house, streaks of dirt from overflowing water and even peeling paint.
When installing gutters on your home, make sure your downspouts are pointed away from the house. If your downspouts aren’t directed away from the house, water can seep into the ground and affect your foundation, leading to structural problems.
Getting on a ladder and cleaning your gutters on a regular basis is an important part of home maintenance. You may also want to consider purchasing gutter guards, which create a barrier that allows water to come through, but helps protect your gutters from gathering leaves and debris.
It’s also a good idea to check your gutters to ensure that they’re properly mounted. Incorrectly mounted gutters can also cause issues; if you suspect your gutters are problematic, you should reach out to a specialist for repairs.
When a downpour occurs, there’s an immense amount of water volume that gathers. If this amount of water is not properly redirected with the downspouts, it can flood your backyard and cause additional damage to your home’s foundation. Gutter extensions aren’t terribly expensive and should run at least five feet from your house. That’s a reasonable length, depending on how your home is situated. If there’s a slight decline from the house, the water will usually drain away, but if there’s no slope, make sure you have enough space for the water to move from your house. Once the soil gets saturated, it can seep into your foundation, causing major issues.
Cracks in Your Foundation
It’s not unusual to see minor cracks in your foundation. This happens as your house settles over time. If not checked, these cracks could lead to a larger problem. If you see cracks that are more than 1/8 inch wide then you should consider having a foundation inspection.
While many minor cracks can be easily repaired using hydraulic cement or caulk, if the cracks are slowly starting to widen, then you face potential foundation issues and your best bet is to contact a Foundation Repair Specialist for a diagnosis.
Puddles, Standing Water, and Mosquitoes
If you’ve noticed that your lawn remains damp after a rainstorm, you may have an issue with your soil. As you don’t want your yard turning into a pond (unless of course you intend to create one), it’s important to take care of soil drainage issues quickly.
As many areas of Texas are hot for the majority of the year, the water is often dried up once the sun reappears. Increasing puddles are a sure sign that you have a drainage problem. Also, these puddles can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, as well as bacteria that can cause harm to your family.
If this is a recurring problem, have your soil checked. You may have to implement an irrigation system and configure a way to have the water properly drain away from your house. The longer the problem persists, the greater chance you have of the water actually seeping into your foundation, which again, is something you want to avoid, as that can cause numerous issues.
Another option is to create ditches (or swales) in order to draw the water away from your home and reduce these puddles. If you have a backyard patio, it may also fall victim to increasing water damage.
Driveways and Your Garage
While your driveway has direct exposure to the sun, the asphalt can crack over time. Again, if these are small cracks, then you may not have a real problem, but if they expand and are wider than 1/8 of an inch, then it may be a good idea to have a specialist assess it. While your garage is a separate entity from your driveway, it can also experience some damage over time. If water is not being directed away from your home, it can also get underneath the foundation of your garage and start to crack. And you may have unexpected puddles in your driveway if water from a rainstorm doesn’t drain properly. Water usually disappears in the sun, but if you have standing water in your driveway, it could be a more serious issue.
These are just a few things that can cause potential drainage problems, if left to linger. But as with most things, regular home maintenance and early detection is key to avoid more repairs in the future.