It is never a good idea to ignore any obvious signs of a problem with the working parts of your home and when it comes to drainage issues, that could turn out to be an expensive decision.
Water can quickly accumulate under your property if you need a foundation drain repair to put it right, but the problem can sometimes be that you have to do a bit of detective work to detect these problems, before they become more worryingly obvious.
An overflowing gutter is telling you something is wrong
One of the easiest drainage problems to spot is probably when you are witnessing a regular cascade of water overflowing from your gutter.
The first thing to check when you see this happening is whether the flow of water is being blocked by an accumulation of dead leaves or some other debris that is preventing the water from taking its usual path.
A problem with your guttering might not be as obvious as water overflowing, so you might need to check for some signs that the water is going to places in your home that you don’t want it to, which can escalate into a structural problem if you don’t address the issue.
Check to see if you can spot any vertical dirt streaks running down your sidings or some paint peeling that is not just down to normal wear and tear. You might just be lucky and your guttering works fine after clearing it out, but you could have a more serious problem to contend with, such as undersized or improperly pitched gutters, that need to be repaired or even replaced, before you start doing some serious damage to your property.
Check your basement for telltale signs
Water stains in your basement don’t immediately mean that you have a serious problem, as they could simply be some surface water that can be fixed fairly easily, but it would be wise to check your basement regularly for some telltale signs of damage.
If you notice some water stains appear high up on your foundation wall, this will usually be a pointer that you are getting water seeping into the basement from an overflowing gutter, or it might possibly be a sign that your runoff slope is not steep enough to run the water away efficiently.
That sort of problem should be reasonably easy to fix, but if you notice that the stain forms a high water mark all around in a line, you might be faced with resolving a fluctuating water table or you are getting backup from a municipal storm drain.
Clearing that problem will probably involve pumping seepage out of your basement and some renovation work, so check regularly to act quickly, if you notice anything that doesn’t look right below ground level.
Look upwards for problems down below
One of the last places that you might consider checking for drainage problems is in the attic, but believe it or not, issues with your drainage can manifest themselves in your attic area.
What you are looking for is mildew on the underside of your roof. If you see evidence of this, that could well be a warning sign that you might just have some major issues to contend with down at ground level.
It could be that the cause of the mildew is simply a matter of your bathroom fan directing hot and moist air straight into the attic, which is easily fixable. However, is you are accumulating moisture in your basement that is subsequently rising through the house and then condensing on the underside of your roof, you need to act with a degree of urgency.
If mildew in your attic is a sign of dampness escalating underneath your house, the source of the problem will have to be identified and rectified as quickly as possible, or you could soon be adding the cost of replacing shingles and roof sheathing to your repair bill total.
Carry the water away
When you consider that your roof will have to contend with about 600 gallons of runoff for every inch of rain that falls on a one thousand square foot price of roof, you should soon appreciate that your drainage system needs to be up to scratch to cope with that sort of volume.
Look at adding some gutter extensions if what you have is not currently adequate enough. Also consider getting the opinion of a drainage specialist, which might actually turn out to be money well spent, if it saves you from a water-related disaster and a much larger repair bill for the damage caused.
Brady Van Matre moved to the Front Range in the early 90s. After many years of working as a Project Manager for commercial and residential construction companies, building everything from high-end custom homes to industrial and retail spaces, Brady knew he had the experience, knowledge and contacts to offer clients a better service for a better price than his employers could. Brady started the company that bears his name in 2001 and has since built the company through competitive pricing, honesty, excellent communication with clients and a commitment to on-time, on-budget, quality construction. Van Matre Constructions office is a historic, turn-of-the-century miners shack in old town Lafayette that was purchased and renovated in 2006. Van Matre Construction also owns its own fleet of light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks, its own excavation equipment, demolition equipment, trailers, etc. Brady lives in un-incorporated Boulder County with his wife Monica, sons Gus, Hank and Will, and cattle-dog Piglet.