After a boring and uneventful Winter we can all breathe a sigh of relief because Spring has finally sprung! If you are like any of us here at Foundation1, you’ve been itching to throw open your windows, breakout the 4-wheeler, clean out the gutters and check your grading. I just heard everyone’s brain come to a screeching halt! If cleaning out gutters and insuring the dirt against your foundation is properly graded is not number one on your list of Springtime fun, hear me out. When you think of that old saying, “April showers bring May flowers,” go ahead and include to the end of that, “and water in your basement if you don’t prepare for it.”
Proper gutter maintenance is a cheap way to insure the life of your foundation. Debris in your gutters will block free flowing water from entering the downspout, which directs rainwater away from your foundation wall, causing the water pour over the top of the gutter and against your foundation walls. This give the water access to any and all openings in your basement and crawlspace. We also suggest that you consider burying your downspouts. Doing so will move the water even further away from the foundation of your home.
Another easy, inexpensive way you can extend the life of your foundation is to check the grading around the perimeter of your home. You want to be sure that there is about 6 inches for the first 10 feet. Follow these simple directions to see if your grading is up to par and if it isn’t, you’ll need to build up the dirt.
To find the slope away from your foundation, you’ll need:
- String (at least 12 feet long)
- 2 stakes, and something to pound them into the ground
- String level
- Tape measure
Using the above supplies, take the following steps to determine if sufficient slope currently exists:
- Tie one end of the string loosely around stake A.
- Pound stake A into the ground right near your foundation
- Slide the string down stake A, so that it rests at ground level
- Tie the other end of the string loosely around stake b.
- Now measure out 10 feet down the slope from stake A, and pound stake B into the ground there (if there’s excess string, just wrap it around stake B). The string between the stakes should be fairly taut, but still adjustable.
- Slide the string up or down stake B, so as to make it roughly level.
- Put the string level on the string, at about the mid-point between the stakes.
- Now adjust the string up or down on stake B, so as to make it exactly level.
- Measure the distance from the string on stake B to the ground. Is the measurement 6 inches or more?
These two simple tricks can be a weekend DIY project. If you are NOT a DIY’er or these projects will cut into your weekend fishing trip, call Foundation 1 at 816-682-8440 in Missouri or 913-782-8440 in Kansas. Remember to call before you dig! Check out the following link for more Spring maintenance tips!