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5 Tips to Improve Drainage Around Your Foundation

Water buildup near the foundation is a disaster waiting to happen. Improve surface drainage and prevent foundation damage with these tips.

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Many homeowners, sooner or later, find out that water around the foundation is a ticking time bomb. 

Continuous accumulation of rainwater can weaken and shift the dirt. The result is more pressure on the foundation walls. Cracks will eventually form and allow water into the basement or crawl space, setting the stage for the structural damage of your Virginia Beach, VA, home.  

Don’t develop a wait-and-see attitude. Implement the following measures to improve drainage and protect your foundation, and you’ll never worry about what fate will befall it. 

dirt excavation and lawn grading

1. Grade the foundation soil 

The excavated soil around the foundation hardens with time and starts to settle. This continuous settlement creates a dip around the foundation’s edge. Water from precipitation will collect there. The outcome is water will form puddles that could seep into your foundation.  

Adding soil to that dip until it slopes away from the house is a great way to prevent water buildup and subsequent seepage. Use dense soil for proper grading, and make sure it slopes at least six inches for every 10 feet from your foundation. 

Avoid sand and mulch, as they allow water to seep into the foundation, making the problem worse. Make sure the soil doesn’t go up to the siding. Leave a gap of at least four inches between the siding and the soil. This action prevents the siding from rotting and denies termites and ants an easy path to your home. 

2. Guttering system 

Ensuring rainwater runs off the roof properly is another way of preventing foundation damage. An inch of rainwater on the roof equates to 620 gallons of water. If allowed to accumulate around the house, that amount of water could cause a lot of damage. You can prevent foundation damage by installing an efficient gutter system and downspouts. A clog-free gutter prevents water spills or overflows while the downspouts channel water away from your home’s perimeter. 

3. Exterior drainage 

Installing an exterior drainage system is another way to keep water away from the foundation. Start by digging a trench around the house, lay a drainpipe with holes in the trench, then cover it with gravel. Top it off with soil. The pipe will direct water away from the foundation. The trench should be three to four feet deep, two to three feet wide, and have a 3% to 5% downslope to direct rainwater effectively. This is a great solution if your yard tends to saturate and make the water flow back toward the house.  

4. Curtain drains 

If your home is at the bottom of a hill, draining water away may not be so easy. Installing curtain drains along the edge of the incline can help. Dig a trench near your home’s foundation and lay a pipe inside. 

Cover the pipe with stone and fill in the area. It will appear as a stripe of stone in your yard. Curtain drains need to be combined with other drainage measures. While they prevent the water buildup, they won’t stop water from reaching the house from other directions.  

5. Interior drainage system 

As part of your basement waterproofing in Virginia Beach, VA, install a BasementGutter™ and a sump pump. Your contractor will open a trench, then lay a porous pipe on top of the foundation stone. This system works in tandem with the sump pump. It collects any water that seeps into your basement, then directs it to the sump pump, which ejects it. If you have a crawl space rather than a basement, the same concept applies. But instead of BasementGutter™, your local crawl space repair experts will install the specialized CrawlDrain™ system along with a sump pump. This happens before encapsulating the crawl space. 

Would you like to waterproof your basement or implement effective drainage around your foundation? Contact the foundation and basement experts at JES Foundation Repair for a free inspection and repair quote and professional advice. One of our experienced professionals will evaluate the condition of your home and recommend solutions best suited to your home’s unique repair needs.

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