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Preventing Water Intrusion Problems Before They StartFebruary 9th, 2012 by
This article was crafted with the help of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions.
An expert waterproofing contractor can dry up your basement, but as a homeowner, you might be asking if there’s anything that can be done to prevent water intrusion problems in the first place.
The answer is a resounding “Yes!” according to Tom DiGregorio, owner of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, an Atlanta-based Best Pick waterproofing and foundation repair company. In his 17 years in the industry, DiGregorio maintains that the main thing that homeowners should pay attention to is the roof over their heads.
Roof Water Issues
“Improperly channeled roof water is the major contributing factor as to why basements and crawl spaces will leak and why foundations can settle, crack, and bow,” says DiGregorio. “A homeowner has to be proactive.”
This includes making sure that gutters are in good shape and are cleaned on a regular basis. “In some cases, if you’re in a heavily wooded area, gutter cleaning might be four to six times a year.”
DiGregorio is also emphatic about piping off the downspouts of the gutter. “In a heavy rainstorm, the water can amount from hundreds to thousands of gallons coming out of one downspout.
You should pipe those downspouts eight to ten feet away from the foundation so the water that’s coming off the roof does not attack it. That is one of the single best things that a homeowner can do—and monitor on a regular basis—to preserve the structure of the home.”
Grading and Slope Issues
The grading, or slope, of the property itself can also be a big issue in new construction and even years afterward. “When they build a house, they dig a big hole to put the foundation wall in, and then they put fill dirt back against the wall.
Well, it’s not really compacted well like the virgin soil it was when they dug it out. With time and water it settles, and you end up creating a depression that’s angled toward the house instead of away from the house,” DiGregorio says. “Sometimes it just requires bringing in a little dirt and sloping it positively, away from the foundation.”
Occasionally, though, additions to the land might be the very thing that can create a problem. New landscaping can sometimes inadvertently raise the slope of the land and create a drainage problem where there wasn’t one before.
DiGregorio recommends that homeowners study the lay of their land carefully before starting any major landscaping projects. “It takes some time, you might need a land study, but it’s going to be worth it if it prevents a water intrusion somewhere down the road.”
This article was crafted with the help of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, an Atlanta expert in Waterproofing. While we strive to provide relevant information to all homeowners, some of the material we publish may not pertain to every area.
Please contact your local Best Pick companies for any further area-specific advice.