Do You Have a Drainage Problem?
Uncovering drainage problems when they are small and easy to fix can go a long way in saving you a lot of cash and plenty of headaches. You don’t need to be skilled and certified building inspector to know that a mini-lake on your front lawn and puddles in the sub-floor void of your home are clear-cut signs of a drainage problem.
However, not all drainage problems are so obvious. Here is a list of some of the subtler signs that commonly occur at home inspections carried out by our certified building inspectors at Arnold Investigative Engineering:
- Cracks in brick walls and/or foundation
If your house is newly constructed, then it is normal for it to settle as it acclimatizes to the physical environment. These settlings often cause some small cracks in the foundations and walls of the house.
Excess moisture in the ground can create pressure that will cause these cracks to continue opening up. Any crack that is wider than 3mm can potentially be a problem and requires immediate attention.
Record the width of the cracks, and if you notice that they are increasing after some time, call a professional to fix them immediately.
- Gushing gutters
When rainwater is cascading over the edges of your gutters, it means that dead leaves and other debris are blocking the water flow. However, that is not the only sign of malfunctioning gutters. Paint peeling off the house, vertical streaks of dirt along the walls, as well as mud spattered on siding, are other clear signs.
If these problems are not checked in time, they can ruin the paint job, rot the sidings, and even cause structural damage to your house.
- Flaking on the walls
If you notice whitish or grayish crusts on your basement walls, there are two causes for this. One, it could just be some efflorescence taking place where mineral deposits are left behind by evaporating water. Efflorescence doesn’t pose serious threats to the safety of your home.
Or, it could be spalling, where the wall may be flaking off in patches. If spalling is widespread and deep, it may cause thaw damage that could weaken your foundation.
- Erosion against your foundation
If your house has a foundation slab, create some time to examine it, especially around the flower beds. Check the arrangement of the soil and how high it is. After it rains, examine the foundation slab again. Did water fill up and wash away the soil against the foundation? Is the water still present?
If there’s some soil erosion and water present, then you definitely have a drainage problem. Water sitting up against the foundation can exert pressure on it and cause serious cracking.
- Bowing floors
Poor drainage may shift your house and make your floors move. As a result, tiles and boards will pop up and your doors may not shut properly.
- Water stains in the basement
This can also be caused in two ways. One, by surface water, which can be easily dealt with. Or, by water traveling underground, which is a more complex and costly issue to fix. Nonetheless, always find a professional to work on it.
At Arnold Investigative Engineering, we are skilled, experienced, and certified building inspectors who will bring all your drainage problems to light. Contact us today!