In the spirit of the season, we thought we would go over Preventative Maintenance. More specifically, how you can maintain your home/basement/foundation so you can prevent yourself from having to call us! Wait, whaaattt? A contractor teaching you how to prevent issues and from having to call you? Something doesn’t smell right. (And that’s the problem!) Where are the honest contractors showing you how to save $$ and time in your own home?? We’re right here.
Calling All Gutters!!!
If you’ve read a handful of our blogs or had us out, you likely know about gutters. We can’t talk enough about them. For every 1,000 SF of roof space, every 1” of rain produces 600 gallons. Average roof in America being 1,500 SF, we are at 900 gallons per 1” rain. What are you putting next to your foundation?
In addition to HAVING gutters (if you do not, get them!!!), there are several things that you can do to make them more effective:
- Clean them! – Every time it rains, leaves get in the gutters. The shingles wash debris, as well as branches falling from trees. Cleaning your gutters once or twice a year is NOT, we repeat, NOT sufficient. We recommend minimum 4 times, and more than that if you are heavily wooded. Make sure to regularly inspect your gutter downspouts. If it’s raining and the water is not flowing freely, something is wrong!
- Install a Gutter Guard – 1st things 1st. Not all Gutter Guards are created equal. In fact, most of them are complete garbage that does more harm than good. The problem with most gutter guards is that they reduce the amount of area the gutters have to collect water. In heavy rains, water cascades over the gutter guards, which become little more than a water slide. A screen, like the one on your porch door, is the BEST guard you can install. It allows maximum water in, and minimal debris.
- Get bigger gutters – Depending on your home’s size, the 4” gutters you have may not be enough. You may need to upgrade to 5” or 6” gutters. It is clear in hindsight that you need gutters large enough to handle large rains.
Gutters are far and away from the easiest thing you can maintain to keep your foundation safe. They can also be the most devastating thing to your foundation, should you neglect them.
Regrade Your Yard
Regrading the yard around the foundation is essential to help prevent foundation problems. This process involves adjusting the slope of the surrounding soil to direct groundwater away from the foundation. This reduces the risk of water accumulating in the soil around the foundation, something that could cause severe problems.
Install Downspout Extensions
Downspout extensions are a simple and cost-effective way to direct runoff away from the foundation before release. This prevents water from accumulating in the ground around the foundation. We recommend releasing runoff at least 15 feet away from the foundation.
Install A Drain Tile System
When it comes to foundation waterproofing, nothing beats a drain tile system. A drain tile system effectively prevents excess moisture from building up in the ground around the foundation.
There are two types of drain tile systems: exterior and interior. An exterior drain tile system is installed around the outside perimeter of the foundation at the footing level, while an interior drain tile system is installed around the inside perimeter of the basement or crawl space. Both channel excess soil moisture away from the foundation and into a designated drainage area.
Check For Water Leaks
Leaking pipes are another source of excess ground moisture around a foundation. They can cause the soil beneath your home’s foundation to become saturated, leading to foundation trouble and costly repairs.
Fix Cracks In The Foundation Wall
While vertical hairline cracks in a poured concrete foundation wall usually aren’t structurally significant, they can allow water to seep into your basement or crawl space. Therefore, they should be sealed using epoxy.
Inspect BEFORE Finishing
Too often we get the call that a newly finished basement has flooded. They have no idea where the water is coming from and assured us the contractor who finished the basement checked for leaks. DO NOT BE FOOLED. A basement finishing contractor does NOT know what they are doing with respect to waterproofing or foundation repair. They have ONE goal: Get the basement finished as quickly as possible and get their check.
Learn more about – How to Know Your Property Has a Good Foundation?
We’ve come into plenty of situations with homeowners who refuse service because we cannot get out there to fix it the next day, “but the contractor is finishing the basement tomorrow.” TELL THEM TO WAIT. They will wait, guaranteed. But they WILL be aggressive and push you, simply because they do not care if your basement floods. They only care if your check clears. If the basement floods and ruins the basement, well they have another check coming from you.
Signs you have the WRONG person telling you about the condition of your basement/foundation:
- You have hired them to do work on the basement that will be held up with waterproofing.
- You have hired them to finish your basement.
- You have hired them for ANYTHING other than waterproofing/foundation repair.
Have we made our point? ONLY a professional Waterproofing and Foundation Repair company should evaluate/repair your foundation. It can be the easiest thing to ignore a small issue until that small issue was really a big issue and you were lied to about it. Just wait to see how many times that contractor’s phone rings before he never picks up.
There is a simple reason waterproofing and foundation repair issues affect most homeowners; they don’t know about it. They don’t know:
- There even is an issue
- How severe the issue is
- How to fix the issue
- Who to trust
And who can blame them? We never learned this stuff growing up. We learned how to bake a cake, apply for college, and pass ACT exams. Luckily, we have devoted ourselves to educating our customers. With more blogs than you can shake a gutter at, instructional videos on actual job sites, and TRANSPARENT pricing right on our website, you know you can trust us. Below is a link to the How-We-Do-It section of our website, showcasing the video series that educates and informs:
Prevention is the key. Fighting a fire after it has destroyed half the building is great, but would have been must more effective if you caught the spark. Read up, educate yourself, fix your gutters, and hire a professional. Remember, we are here to help you!
Thanks for reading, and as always:
“Not Everything’s Better When Wet”