In our experience, there are really only 3 (three!) ways to take care of water problems—Our solutions typically fall under one of these headings:
1. Manage Its supply: Minimize the amount of water available to cause problems.
2. Seal It out: Keep it away from the things that it can damage.
3. Satisfy It: Water just wants a nice, easy place to go (gravity guarantees this)…We give it one!
Here are some things that YOU can do yourself to avoid trouble:
1. Manage Its Supply Gutters Check them to make sure that they’re clear, and not just after the leaves have come off of the trees in the Fall…Many severe storms in the Spring and Summer strip leaves off trees, clogging gutters very quickly.
Downspouts The farther away they drain from the building, the better. Make sure that they slope, don’t leak, and aren’t clogged.
Hose Spigots We make it a rule to detach hoses after Labor Day. A frozen spigot can split and quickly make you wish that you’d taken the time.
Exterior grading Due to the type of soils that we have here in Colorado, settling of the dirt around a foundation frequently occurs for years; you have to remove any landscaping, fill the low area with dirt (not rock, that just makes water drain TOWARD your foundation!), and then reinstall the landscaping.
Overwatering Expensive in two ways: You pay for the water, and then you pay for the damage…Adjust your sprinkler system timing, and use timers on hoses. Note: If you are seeing moss, you may want to cut back!!
2. Seal It out Roof Watch out for damaged and missing shingles.
Caulking When two different construction materials meet, the resulting joint needs to be sealed. Joints next to the house are particularly vulnerable.
Brick/stone Even minor “Shifting” in a building can cause openings in the mortar/grout that work to trap water as it goes down the wall. Fill with new mortar/grout or use a caulking meant to look like mortar/grout.
3. Satisfy It Drains Inside Watch those floor drains, washing machine hoses, and humidifier/water softener discharges. Outside Because exterior water carries dirt, leaves, and trash with it, outside drains need to be checked a couple of times each year.
Sumps/Discharges Make sure that your's is working properly. No matter how efficient your water collection system is, it doesn't help you if the water has no place to go...Since our wettest season begins in the Spring, Groundhog Day is a great time to remember to check your sump pump and/or drain outlets. Make sure the sump pump is plugged in (especially if you've had work done, or have been moving things about), and that the joints in the piping are snug and tight.