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Could Your Home Have a Drainage Problem?

Water damage can be a costly problem. We’ve found 5 areas that can signal water drainage issues in your home.


To prevent water damage—or to safeguard against additional water problems—make sure water drains away from your home’s foundation, not toward it. Common areas to inspect include:

Gutters

“If you don’t keep your gutters cleaned and operating properly, water can back up and cause problems,” says Bill Jacques, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors. Make sure your gutters are sized correctly, and check for leaks and clogs regularly. Install gutter guards for protection against debris buildup.

Downspouts

Water draining too close to your home can seep into the basement and could eventually weaken the foundation. “Downspouts need to direct water away from the foundation,” Jacques says. Check the connections on your downspouts, and install extenders to divert water farther away.

Site Grading

“The biggest issue causing drainage problems is property that is not graded away from the home,” Jacques says. Most experts say the soil surface or pavement around your home should slope gradually away from the foundation—about 6 inches every 10 feet.

Window Wells

The ground around basement window wells also needs to slope away from your home’s foundation. Wells should be properly sealed; filled with gravel, not soil; and kept debris-free—just like gutters.

Basements and Crawlspaces

If water collects in your basement, a sump pump with battery backup may be a smart investment. This device drains water from under your basement floor and pumps it outdoors. If your home already has a sump pump, have it inspected regularly to make sure it will activate when needed.

If you have taken these steps and your basement continues to flood, ask a qualified contractor to assess the situation. An expensive but often effective solution is to waterproof the exterior walls. “A professional will excavate around the basement, waterproof the walls and install a drainage system to carry water away so that it doesn’t infiltrate the basement,” Jacques says.

If, despite your best efforts, heavy rains cause water damage or your basement to flood, learn what steps to take with these tips from MetLife Auto & Home®.

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