The foundation of your home offers stability and security for your day-to-day living. But this under-sung hero needs your help to make sure it can fully do its job. Part of this involves ensuring that the foundation stays safe from excess moisture, which can cause basement leaking and eventually weaken the foundation, potentially causing a costly foundation shift. There are a few ways you can protect your foundation from torrential rain.
Proper Drain Maintenance
The first step is to make sure you have the right drain setup to keep water coming off your roof but away from the foundation. You should have a downspout positioned every 40 feet around your roof. At the bottom of each drain, position a concrete splashpad that will allow the emerging water to divert further away from the foundation.
Check the drainspouts and gutters at least once a month to ensure that no blockages are occurring that can trap moisture on your roof. Also make sure that all of the downspouts are secure as a loosened screw or two can turn the spout and aim the water directly towards your foundation.
If you follow these steps and still have a problem area of water around your foundation, consider installing a French drain system. A French drain is a sloping spout located in the ground that uses gravity and pipe positioning to reroute excess water from around your foundation to a suitable runoff point. Note that your neighbor's backyard doesn't count as a suitable runoff point. Check with local regulations because you might be able to end the drain right at the street and your city's storm drains.
Grading is basically the practice of sloping your yard away from the foundation to help runoff move away from the sensitive area. The ideal grading slopes downwards a minimum of six inches for every 10 feet of yard. Grading shouldn't exceed a foot of drop every four feet or else you'll need a retaining wall to help stabilize your yard from essentially creating a miniature mudslide.
If your yard isn't already properly graded, hire a landscaping professional to do the job. It's going to require some specialized, heavy machinery, a lot of soil and possibly sod to patch things up at the end.
Every precaution still won't keep your foundation bone dry in times of heavy moisture. Add a final line of defense with waterproofing. Call a local foundation repair service like Safe-Guard Waterproofing to complete a high-quality waterproofing that can ensure the water stays outside instead of seeping through your foundation and into the basement. While there are do-it-yourself waterproofing options out there, you don't want to cut corners with a task as important as foundation safety.