A home is an investment and property owners need to do what they can to protect the value of that investment. When it comes to protecting a home and the property that it sits on, there are few things that are as important as proper drainage. Water is one of the more common factors that can damage the structure and the foundation of a home, and it can also damage the landscape if it is not managed properly.
When the soil around your foundation becomes over-saturated, it can begin to swell. This swelling can put an immense amount of pressure on the foundation and result in cracks. As if the cracks are not bad enough, once they are there, the water can enter the cracks in the foundation and cause further damage.
In addition to that, the over-saturation of the soil can lead to additional foundation problems. When this soil dries, it may contract and this can reduce the amount of support that the foundation has. If reduced enough, it can expose the foundation to an increased risk of displacement.
Beyond this, poor drainage can also cause several other problems with the property. It can cause soil erosion in the yard and it can cause damage to structures like fences and retaining walls. If you have additional structures on the property, like a deck, walkways or a patio, these can also be damaged if the property has poor drainage.
To protect your home and the foundation from water damage, one of the first lines of defense is going to be your gutters and downspouts. However, it is not enough to just have gutters and downspouts, they need to be installed properly and set up in a way that effectively channels the water away from the house. Many homeowners would probably be surprised to find out that their gutter system is not doing a good job of channeling the water, and in many cases, a poorly designed system can do more damage than having no gutters at all.
You want to have gutters and downspouts that direct the water away from the home. Additionally, you want to make sure that they empty at a sufficient distance from the structure. If the gutters are emptying just a few inches from the edge of the foundation, then they are not doing enough to protect the home. You also want to make sure to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned every year. This will avoid damage to the system and ensure that it is effective.
You also want to make sure that your soil is properly graded. A grade that slopes away from the foundation will naturally channel much of the water away from the home. If the property is uneven in several places, then you may want to consider a drainage system for the yard. That way, you can channel more of the water out to the street and reduce the chances of erosion and other forms of damage.
If you think that your property has poor drainage, then it is recommended that you contact a professional to perform an inspection. In addition to getting improvements made to the drainage system, you may also want to get the foundation of the home inspected. If your property has had poor drainage for a few years, then there is a chance that the foundation may have suffered some damage. Getting it inspected will ensure that you catch the problem early.