Drainage problems are very common and provided you find them before they become too big, can easily be fixed, saving you a fortune in repair costs – not to mention inconvenience. Basement puddles and a pond in the front yard aren’t the only signs of drainage problems, but they certainly are the most common.
Thankfully, with Anta Plumbing in your corner, you will know what the experts look for when they suspect drainage problems. These signs are often more subtle, and that’s why homeowners tend to miss it.
Sign # 1: Run-off
If your soil doesn’t drain as it should, rain will seem to run off in sheets. It will carry wood chips or mulch to places where it doesn’t belong, and it will dump silt on the pathways. Gulleys will appear in the landscape. Best case scenario, you could hire a landscaper to create a wide but shallow ditch or a soil mound to help redirect the water away from the house. If your paving stones pop up, or ir the patio cracks due to the base material being washed away, you will have to excavate your patio.
Sign #2: Mildew or Mold
If you see mildew in the attic, you may have a serious issue at ground level. Usually, this is caused by bathroom vents that spew hot air into the attic. When the water condenses on the cold underside of the roof, it causes mildew. A quick solution would be to vent the fan through the roof or an outside wall instead.
Sign #3: Deposits and Flaking Walls
If you notice a grey or white crust on your basement walls, you may well have a drainage problem. This efflorescence is a mineral deposit left behind when water evaporates. If big patches are flaking off the walls, we call it spalling. It generally happens where moisture condenses. Efflorescence is not a big problem, but it is important to check the grading of soil around your foundation, as well as your downspouts and gutters.
Spalling is not a huge problem, unless it’s deeper than half an inch, or wide spread. If that’s the case, water is getting into your masonry and poor drainage, which could jeopardize the integrity of your foundations.
Sign #4: Foundation Cracks
Small foundations commonly appear as a home settles over time. Cracks bigger than an eighth of an inch should be watched. Sometimes it may just be a crack that appears where one load of concrete ends and the other begins. However, if it continues to widen, it could indicate that a drainage problem is causing damage to your foundation.
Sign #5: Water Stains
The most important thing to note with water stains in the basement, is whether they are caused by surface water, or by rising damp. If the gutter is overflowing, it can easily be fixed by creating the right slope. However, if the stain forms a line around the basement, it could well be caused by a fluctuating water table. It’s important to install a sump pump and speak to your plumber about basement waterproofing.
Sign #6: Dumping Downspouts
When downspouts dump all the rainwater close to your foundations, it can cause the water to run into the basement, ruining your precious belongings. Divert downspouts a minimum of five feet away from your foundation. If you don’t, water will continue seeping into the soil, placing pressure on foundation walls and causing cracks.
If you suspect drainage problems, it is important to hire a qualified plumber as soon as possible to recommend the best course of action.