Do you have a lakefront property without the actual lake and view? If your yard is a soggy mess after a rainstorm, you likely have a water drainage issue. While it may be easy to ignore, damp, wet landscapes can lead to damp, wet basements and bigger problems like water damage and a mold outbreak. One way to alleviate potential issues is to divert water away from your home.
How do you know if you have a drainage issue at your home? Let’s take a look at the signs of a water drainage issue, what risks are involved if it is left unaddressed, and what you can do to move water away from your house.
Signs of a Water Drainage Issue
After a torrential downpour, it may be easy to see that you have a water drainage issue if there is a large pool of water, or you need boots to walk through your yard. Other times, though, it can be easy to miss. Here are several signs that you have a drainage issue and should find a way to redirect water away from your home:
- Overflowing gutters
- Washed away mulch
- Soggy yard
- Damp and musty odors
- Water stains
- Efflorescence or cracking/flaking walls in the basement
Noticing signs of a water drainage issue? It can lead to bigger risks to your home that can cause further damage.
Risks of Poor Water Drainage
Water is a powerful force and can cause numerous problems for a homeowner. Some issues can be easily fixed, and others can cost thousands of dollars in damages and in some cases, even displace homeowners. If you’ve noticed signs of water drainage issues, here are reasons to fix the issue as soon as possible:
- Leaky or Flooded Basement: When water collects near a house and doesn’t have anywhere to go, it can quickly cause a leaky or worse, flooded basement. Flooded basements can be a nightmare for homeowners, costing thousands of dollars in damages.
- Mold Growth: Mold thrives in a damp environment, especially in basements and attics. When drainage problems exist at a home, water can permeate the foundation and creep into a basement. Add in a food source like cardboard boxes or other materials and not only do you have water damage, but you also have mold damage. Mold can cause health problems for the home’s occupants and should be addressed quickly to stop mold spores from spreading through the house.
- Mosquitoes: Where there are pools of water, there are likely mosquitoes. These pests, and others, are drawn to water. In addition to being a nuisance, some pests spread diseases.
- Drowned Plants: Although plants need water, there is such a thing as TOO much water. If you plant in an area with poor drainage, your plants may not thrive or even drown.
- Foundation Damage: When water gets into the foundation of a home or business, it can cause the foundation to expand and contract, especially during the winter months when the temperatures dip and the water freezes.
How to Divert Water Away from House
Floods and water damage can be one of the most stressful and costly issues for a homeowner. To prevent a water loss, here are several ways to carry water away from your home to help prevent costly repairs:
- Clean Your Gutters: Your house gutter system is one of the most critical components to help prevent water damage. Rain gutters help protect your home from water damage and when working properly, will divert water away from your house. When gutters are clogged, the water backs up and overflows near the house, rather than being moved away from it.
- Extend Downspouts: Downspout extensions are an affordable way to move water away from your home efficiently. Downspouts should reach at least 6 feet away from the foundation and divert water away from the house. Most hardware stores sell downspout extenders for around $10.
- Install a Rain Barrel: If you cannot extend your downspouts, another option to divert water is to install a rain barrel. A rain barrel collects water from your downspouts and stores it until you can get rid of it, usually by using it to water your lawn or garden. Not only is it an efficient way to keep water away from your house, but it can also reduce your water bill.
- Grade Landscaping: One of the most important things to do to divert water away from your home is to make sure the landscaping is graded away from the house properly. Oftentimes when a homeowner has a flooded basement, the main cause is poorly graded landscaping. If you have minor water issues after a rainstorm, you may only have to focus on one area of the yard to re-grade. For larger issues, you may have a bigger project on your hands that is better suited for a professional landscaping company to tackle.
- Design a Rain Garden: Rain gardens are not only a beautiful addition to your landscaping, they are also helpful in reducing the amount of water runoff during a storm. Rain gardens should be placed approximately 10 feet from your home and include plants that thrive in wet conditions as well as layers of rocks, gravel, sand, and soil. As an added benefit, rain gardens also create a habitat for butterflies, birds, and other native wildlife.
- Invest in a French Drain: A French drain is used to drain groundwater from the foundation of your home. French drains are incredibly effective at reducing water overflow in problematic areas of your property. To install a French drain, you will need to dig a trench around 2 feet deep then line it with landscape fabric, gravel, and then lay the drainpipe. Once the pipe is installed, you’ll need to cover it with more gravel and then sod. Installing a French drain is quite labor-intensive, so you may want to hire a professional.
- Install a Sump Pump: If your home is prone to basement flooding, a sump pump can be a lifesaver. Sump pumps are designed to prevent large-scale flooding and while the initial investment can be thousands of dollars, they can save you money in the long run.
Even if you are able to divert water away from your home, you may still experience a small flood or water damage in an extreme storm, or because of a faulty appliance. If you have a water loss that is extensive, you may need the help of a professional restoration company that specializes in water and mold remediation.
Water Damage Restoration Experts
Reynolds Restoration Services has been helping homeowners for more than 15 years rebuild their homes after a water loss emergency. If you’ve experienced a flood caused by poor water drainage, reach out to our team for help. We have the tools, training, and resources to dry out your home and stop mold growth before it starts.
We are on call 24/7 to respond to flood and water emergencies. With offices in Harrisburg, Pa., Philadelphia Pa., and the Baltimore, Md./DC metro region, we can be on-site quickly to assess damages, start to dry out, and help you through the process. We have solid professional relationships with insurance companies and can help you with your insurance claim. You can report a claim at any time by calling 1-888-277-8280.