Drainage problems with your home’s exterior might not appear until an all-night thunderstorm suddenly appears. When water starts dripping into the basement, things can suddenly go from bad to worse. Checking your home’s drainage systems each spring can stop a problem before it starts. We outlined a quick checklist that you can do in the spring to keep things dry inside.
Drainage Problems in Waukesha County
How to check your drainage:
- Start at the roof line of your house and make sure all the rain gutters and downspouts are clear, working, and moving the water in the right direction. Winter snow and ice can sometimes change the pitch of your roof gutters, sending the water in the wrong direction.
- On the ground level, check the down spouts to make sure they are not clogged.
- Investigate the perimeter of the house, and check for bare soil where the mulch has washed away. Bare soil can indicate water washing off the roof. If the gutters become clogged, water can waterfall off the roof, causing the mulch to wash away and the soil to settle, leaving a depression. The depressed area will collect water and funnel it toward the foundation.
- If your downspouts connect to underground drainage tiles or plastic drain pipes, check the location where the water exits. Make sure the exit pipe is clear of leaf debris and the water is running out the exit. To test the drain tile, run water into the junction where the downspout meets the drain tile. Water will eventually make its way to the drain tile exit. If water does not exit the pipe after 15 minutes, the drain tile could be blocked with leaves or possibly an animal nest.
- Start at the top and fix or clean the gutters and downspouts.
- Clean out any clogged drain tiles or plastic underground drain pipes.
- Replace soil around foundation to establish positive drainage away from the house.
- Trim tree and shrub branches that overhang the roof and gutter system.
- Review the drainage throughout your lot to determine where the water is coming from.
- Install drain tile extensions to downspouts, surface mounted or buried underground, moving water further away from the house.
Taking the time for a yearly checkup of your drainage system each spring will ensure fewer problems, save you money, and lower your home’s maintenance over time.