Y’all, we have to talk! Baton Rouge, Louisiana gets 63 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year. With all that rain comes the issue of DRAINAGE!
Most homeowners and, unfortunately, many builders do not fully understand proper drainage. The key to good drainage is simple: water flows downhill. When it collects in a large area or flows a great distance, it has the potential to create significant problems.
Soggy, poorly graded ground is certain doom for lawns, shrubs and plants. Poorly drained runoff from roofs can flow inside your home through foundational cracks or leaks, where it can warp floorboards and turn finished rooms into mildewy messes. If it’s a raised house (pier & beam) water can collect underneath the house and cause the floors to warp and have is the perfect environment for mold & mildew!
Prospective home buyers should check out four drainage-related issues before signing on the dotted line:
1-Walk the perimeter of the house. Make sure to check and see if the dirt adjacent to the foundation slopes away from the house. If the grading of the property slopes toward the home, this could lead to damp or wet crawl spaces, structural damage and toxic mold.
2-Find the rain gutter downspouts. Do they drain directly to the ground? Has the water created a low spot for water to collect adjacent to the home? If so, there’s a good chance there is water intrusion somewhere. Take a look at the water flow through the downspouts to make sure the water moves freely away from the home, especially the foundation. Further, make sure gutter downspouts are carrying water at least 10 feet away from the home. Gutters are also a source of wood rot along the fascia boards if they are clogged with leaves.
3-Look for cracks in the exterior walls and foundation. If a quarter can slip into a crack of the foundation, it is a sign that there are settling issues. Primary culprits of major cracks are gutters and downspouts that have failed to deliver runoff water far enough away from the foundation.
4-When buying new, ask about the drainage plan. Most problems with new homes relate to drainage issues. If you are buying a newly-constructed home, make sure you understand how a property drains before you buy. If possible, during a heavy rain, visit the site and observe how the water flows. You’ll then be able to discuss any drainage concerns with the builder and get his plan for dealing with potential problems.
An important part of buying any home is investigating its potential problems and hazards. Overlooking potential drainage trouble spots could very well mean hundreds if not thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs later on.
Leslie Green (225) 202-7935 Leslie@PatWattam.com