Identifying and Correcting Draining Problems

By Shawn Kyles

A property owner can experience many different types of drainage issues, including rainwater collecting on the roof or water pooling on the ground.  Drainage problems can affect the structural foundation of your home, and should be identified and repaired immediately.

Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause rainwater to accumulate on rooftops, which can result in moisture seeping into your house.  When any type of moisture enters a home, it can penetrate existing wall and foundation cracks, weakening the structure even further.  Standing water on a roof can also produce mold and mildew that can prompt asthma attacks, and cause allergies and pneumonia.

Whenever water pools in a yard, it is an indicator of a possible drainage problem. Water pooling can be caused by poor soil conditions or water draining into the yard from another location.  You can also have problems with pooling water due to soil erosion or a yard that isn’t graded properly.

Before any drainage problem can be corrected, the source of the problem must be located.  Rooftop water problems are often the result of rainwater that can’t drain because of clogged gutters and downspouts.  Many times the solution to this problem is to clean your gutters and downspouts, and keep them free of debris.  If necessary, you can also install additional downspouts in problem areas to ensure the water is transported off the roof and away from the house.

Moisture-retaining soil will expand and cause a foundation to lift and crack. It will also put pressure on vertical walls, which can cause movement. Additional damage can occur when the soil contracts and the foundation settles. Expansive soil can fluctuate in volume by as much as 30% depending on the amount and type of clay in the soil.

One way to fix a standing water problem is to install a French drain, which is trench that contains a drainage pipe or gravel. French drains are used to transport excess water away from your home.  Drainage problems caused by soil conditions can be corrected with chemicals that help prevent expansion.  Other moisture control methods include erecting various types of barriers.

If you already have foundation cracks or settlement, contact a foundation repair expert to inspect your foundation and determine the cause of the problem. If drainage is an issue, you can find out how best to remedy the situation. A skilled foundation repair company can also repair your foundation to prevent slopping floors, bulging walls and windows and doors that won’t shut properly.

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