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  • Writer's pictureCosmic Property Inspections

Protect Your Home: Essential Water Intrusion Tips for Keeping Water Away

Updated: Aug 18, 2023


Clogged gutter that does not allow water to shed away from the building.
Clogged Gutter

Water intrusion can wreak havoc on your home, causing basement flooding, rotting of exterior materials, and even attracting wood-destroying insects. However, with proper maintenance and a few preventive measures, you can significantly reduce these risks. In this blog post, we will explore key strategies for keeping water away from your house, ensuring a dry and safe environment. By implementing these practices, you can safeguard your property against costly damage and maintain its longevity.


Proper Gutter Maintenance: Gutters play a crucial role in diverting rainwater away from your home's foundation. Regularly inspect and clean your gutters to prevent blockages caused by leaves, debris, or other obstructions. Consider installing gutter guards to minimize debris accumulation and facilitate easier maintenance. Additionally, ensure that gutters are securely fastened to your home and are properly sloped to allow water to flow freely towards downspouts. Downspouts should extend at least 5 feet away from the building to effectively channel water away from the foundation.


Implement Proper Grading: Grading refers to the slope of the ground surrounding your home. Aim for a 6-inch drop in elevation within the first 10 feet away from the structure. This slope will encourage water to flow away from the foundation, preventing pooling and potential water seepage into basements or crawl spaces. When adjusting the grading, consider using rock instead of mulch or dirt. Place plastic under the stone to capture water and promotes efficient drainage. It may be necessary to consult a professional landscaper or contractor for larger grading projects.


Maintain Building Cladding: Building cladding, such as siding or brickwork, should be positioned at least 6-8 inches above the ground to prevent water splashing onto the materials or creating a vector for insects. Ensure that there is adequate clearance between the cladding and any adjacent landscaping features, such as flower beds or mulch. Regularly inspect the cladding for signs of deterioration, cracks, or gaps that may allow water to penetrate. Promptly address any issues to maintain the cladding's protective barrier and prevent moisture-related damage.


Window Well Management: Window wells provide light and ventilation to basements while also posing potential water entry points. Keep window wells clean and free of debris, such as leaves and twigs, to maintain proper drainage. Consider installing window well covers made of durable materials, like polycarbonate or metal, to keep out debris and prevent water accumulation. Where basement egresses are required, ensure that the covers are properly secured and allow for easy access in case of emergency.


Maintain Vegetation Distance: While landscaping can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property, it's important to maintain a safe distance between vegetation and the building. Plants, shrubs, and trees should be positioned at least 12 inches away from the exterior walls. This distance helps minimize moisture retention against the structure and reduces the likelihood of insect infestations. Regularly trim branches and foliage to prevent them from touching or overhanging the house, as they can introduce moisture and/or not allow for effective ventilation of the roof which may reduce the life of the roofing materials. Overhanging tree branches can provide access points for pests.


Check Walkways, Stairs, and Patios: Carefully inspect your walkways, stairs, stoops, and patios for any negative pitches that may direct water towards the foundation. These surfaces should be properly sloped away from the house to encourage water runoff. Stoops or stairs that have settled away from the building could allow water to get between. Repair or re-grade any areas where water accumulates or seeps towards the building, as this can lead to moisture-related issues. Additionally, ensure that any joints or cracks in these surfaces are properly sealed to prevent water infiltration.


Install Proper Foundation Drainage: If basement moisture issues exist, you may need to consider implementing an effective foundation drainage system, such as French drains or perimeter drains, to further protect your home from water damage. These systems help collect and redirect groundwater away from the foundation, reducing the risk of moisture-related issues. Consulting with a professional waterproofing contractor can help determine the most suitable drainage solution based on your property's specific needs.


Possible Mold Growth: Mold growth is another concern associated with excess moisture in and around the home. When water accumulates or seeps into the building, it creates a favorable environment for mold to thrive. Mold can cause a range of health issues, including allergies, respiratory problems, and even exacerbate existing conditions like asthma. By diligently implementing strategies to keep water away from your home, you can significantly reduce the risk of mold growth. Proper gutter maintenance and grading techniques can help prevent water intrusion, which can be a factor in mold development. Additionally, by maintaining proper ventilation and humidity levels within the home, promptly addressing any water leaks or moisture issues, and immediately drying any wet areas, you can further minimize the risk of mold growth and ensure a healthy living environment for you and your family.


In conclusion: Taking proactive measures to keep water away from your home is essential for preventing moisture-related problems, and minimizing the risk of mold growth. By adhering to proper gutter maintenance, grading techniques, building cladding elevation, window well management, vegetation distance, walkway and patio pitch, and foundation drainage, you can significantly reduce the risk of water damage, rot, insect infestations, and mold growth. These preventive measures not only protect your investment but also provide a dry, secure, and healthy environment for you and your family. By implementing these practices, you'll ensure that your home remains in optimal condition for years to come, free from the damaging effects of water infiltration and mold.

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