Direct Water Where You Want It to Go
What's the simplest and most common method to divert water from your property? Gutters and downspouts are your first line of defense to collect and divert roof water. But remember to keep them clean so that they can do their job; and if traditional lengths aren't doing the trick, install extensions to direct water even further from the home and foundation.
Be Sure Water Flows Away from the House
Proper grading techniques control surface water around the home. There are two types of grading: positive and negative. Positive grading is good, negative grading is bad. Positive grading slopes away from your home, directing storm water away from your foundation. Negative grading slopes toward your home, directing storm water toward your foundation. When storm water consistently collects near the home only bad things can happen. That is why we tell our customers and document it when negative grading needs to be corrected. In more extreme circumstances, typically houses at the bottom of hills or other high surface water run-off areas, swales or other advanced grading techniques may be required to divert surface water around the perimeter of a home. These are typically installed during the final grading stage by the builder of the home.
Look for Other Sources of Water
Moderation in the amount of water sprayed into mulch and flower beds also helps to prevent water penetration. Another common source of water around the home is floor drains in recessed exterior stairwells or patios. Annual cleaning of these drains will ensure that they can perform their designed function of directing water away from the foundation.
Control the Groundwater
Not all water that enters a house comes from the roof or ground surface. Subsurface water, or groundwater, which is typically the result of a high local water table, may try to upwell into a basement through the slab from underground. In a basement this water is most easily controlled by a sub-slab sump and electric pump system that collects underground water and pumps it to the surface and away from the foundation area. Occasionally, depending upon the size of the basement, a second sump system may be required.
Control Excessive Moisture Vapor
All foundation materials are porous and will allow some moisture vapor to pass through from the exterior. In addition, the cooler temperatures in crawlspaces and basements create a condition which tends to draw in the moisture through condensation. In homes where excessive moisture is present, some control method should be used to prevent problems with wood destroying insects and fungus. In basements, the most common method for controlling moisture vapor is with a dehumidifier. In crawlspaces, moisture vapor penetration usually comes through the soil floor and can be adequately controlled with a proper vapor barrier and crawlspace vents.