Do you have any water stains on the foundation sides of a pier and beam? Or regular wet spots on your lawn?
These red flags could indicate a substantial drainage problem.
Early detection is key. When you discover drainage issues early on, you’ll save a great deal of money as extensive repairs mean big costs.
In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn about the top five signs of serious drainage issues and how to solve them in your greater Dallas/Fort Worth area home.
#1: Water in your yard
When you notice wet spots in your yard even if it hasn’t rained recently, it can be a sign of a drainage problem. The same goes for standing water that doesn’t seem to clear away after a downpour. Usually, this issue results from inefficient curbs and gutters. When your yard slop tilts away from these places, all the pooled water has no escape path and runs into the lowest point.
Combating soggy patches calls for installing a French drain system or a rain garden. After the installation, all the water flows through gravel or engineered soil. It won’t create any pools on your lawn anymore.
Another approach is to introduce a small pond or add a dry well. These work to hold water without resulting in drainage problems. Still another approach is to install surface drains in the low spots.
In some cases, you may notice water pooling on the walkway. In this case, replace part of the sidewalk with steppingstones. This solution allows water to flow through the stones. As an alternative, you could install a catch basin to keep the water from pooling on the front walkway.
#2: Water stains in the basement
There are many possible reasons for water stains in your basement, including a fluctuating water table or overflowing gutters.
How can you guess the cause?
Any stains located high on the foundation wall indicate that the water comes from outside. It might be the case of an overflowing gutter or some surface runoff that moves towards your home. The latter happens when the soil surrounding the foundation isn’t sloping properly, or when the outside soil is higher than that under the house.
If the stain extends in a continuous line around the basement, you could face a more serious problem. The high-water mark could be caused by a fluctuating water table. Otherwise, the storm drains back up inside the house during heavy rainfall.
Whatever the reason, you can solve the problem by investing in a sump pump complete with an interior drain system. This machinery pumps all the seepage out, effectively solving the drainage issue.
#3: Overflowing gutters
When your gutters stop working properly, you may see a few signs, including:
- Muddy stains on the siding
- Vertical strips of paint peeling off the house
- Dirt and discoloration on the outside of gutters
- Discoloration of brick
Overflowing gutters pose many risks to your home. As time passes, the paint gets ruined, siding can start to rot away, and it can even result in structural damage. Water dripping over the sides creates a soil depression, allowing water to pond near the house.
Usually, it’s just leaves and other debris blocking the downspout. You can simply clean them using a ladder and a small garden trowel or just your hands. It is good to invest in a leaf guard system, which can be installed over existing gutters.
In rare cases, the overflowing is caused by unsuitably pitched or undersized gutters. When the issues continue after cleaning the gutters and downspout, and adding leafguard, you can readjust or replace the gutters altogether.
#4: Cracks in the foundation
If you notice any cracks, measure their width. Cracks less than one-fourth inch wide are likely to be normal signs of settlement. However, wider gaps could very well indicate drainage issues and major foundation problems.
First aid for foundation cracks calls for polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement. Employ these materials to fill the areas that need it. If the cracks continue to widen, you’re most definitely facing a drainage problem that’s actively destroying the foundation.
Find professional assistance in Dallas if the cracks are wider than one-quarter inch or continue to get bigger. Acting quickly might save you a significant sum of money on dealing with extensive repairs.
#5: Mildew in the attic
Your attic might not be the first place you’d consider looking in for potential drainage issues. Still, finding mildew on the underside of the roof may be a sign of serious problems on the ground.
The moisture may make its way from your basement or crawl space to the underside of the roof. After traveling through the house, all this moisture will condense, creating favorable conditions for mildew growth.
Should that be the case, your first task is to find the source of excess moisture under your home and fix it. Then, it’s time to check how much damage the mildew has done to the underside of the roof.
If you leave this issue unchecked, you may have to replace the roof sheathing and shingles.
How does improper drainage affect the foundation?
Your house stands on its foundation. The most serious drainage problems threaten the integrity of the whole structure. That’s why it’s not recommended to postpone fixing drainage issues.
Improper draining around your home may result in soil that swells more in particular spots. Unbalanced soil could easily start creating cracks in the foundation.
Another situation arises when the runoff from rooftops starts to erode the soil surrounding the foundation. As the water forms pools, it can endanger the foundation.
The bottom line: Signs you have a serious drainage problem
Look out for any signs indicating a drainage problem, such as water pooling in your yard and wide cracks in the foundation.
Dealing with these issues from the start will save you money on later repairs. Consider hiring a professional when the problems require expert knowledge and skills.