Basement leaks are a common problem, but here’s a little secret: they aren’t always your basement’s fault. If the soil around your house is too wet, water can force its way in. It is yard drainage, not bad basement design, that is often to blame for the soggy basement blues.
How can you figure out if you have a yard drainage problem? Go ahead and take a little walk around your house to check for the top six signs of yard drainage.
1. Your Lawn Slants Towards Your House
Does your home seem to sit in a little valley? If your yard tilts in towards your home, any water that falls onto it will automatically put pressure on your basement walls. This is true even if your lawn only tilts in towards your basement on one side.
2. Your Lawn is Level With Your House
If your house seems to sit on a flat plane of grass, you aren’t exactly in the clear. Your basement, as you know, is located underground. When rainwater falls onto your flat lawn, it has nowhere to run off and will therefore sink into the ground and press against your basement walls. This effect is worsened if your basement is located under the water table.
3. Your Patio Drains Into Your House
Since patios are usually paved, any water that falls on them has to drain off. A patio that is tilted in towards your home or that lies flat can essentially pour water into your basement.
4. Your Driveway Drains Into Your House
The same concept that applies to the patio applies here. The driveway is a large concrete surface, and water that falls on it has to go somewhere. If the driveway tilts in, that somewhere could very well be your basement.
5. Roof Downspouts Are Not Directing Water Away
Roof downspouts are designed to get water off of your roof and away from your house. However, poorly designed or faulty roof downspouts can end up dumping water far too close to your home, causing basement leakage. Check to make sure that water from your downspouts is flowing away from your house rather than along or towards it.
Another problem roof downspouts can cause has to do with those paved surfaces, like patios and driveways, that surround parts of your home. Erosion from a roof downspout can cause parts of your driveway or patio to cave in, which can in turn cause water to drain into undesirable places.
6. Blame The Neighbor
In some cases, your yard drainage woes may be coming from next door. If your neighbor lives up the hill from you, their yard water may be flowing right into your yard. This can also happen if your neighbor’s drainage system is accidentally directing water onto your property.
You may have noticed that all of these issues have to do with one simple concept: gravity. Any time water isn’t given an alternative downhill place to go, it can cause basement leakage issues. If you need a second opinion or need to remedy a yard drainage situation, call up a basement waterproofing expert for a free consultation. Your basement will thank you!