If your basement is consistently having water issues hire a professional Home Inspection Company to identify the source of the trouble.
Defects in soil grade and water drainage around homes is a common problem that should be corrected to improve the longevity of your home's foundation performance. Things like high soils, low soils, erosion and improper drainage are normally easy to repair. These are sometimes a problem from the time a home is built and sometimes they happen over time.
High soil levels can contribute to water intrusion and wood destroying insects. High soil levels allow moisture to enter through weep holes, conceal observable defects in the foundation perimeter beam and hide the entry points of wood destroying insects. Proper soil level (including mulch) at the foundation should allow 4-6 inches of the foundation to be visible in all areas.
Improper grade slope may also allow unwanted water to damage a home's foundation over time or even enter the walls. Proper grade slope is when the soil is graded downward and away from the foundation at a slope of about 6 inches per 10 feet. Water should never flow towards the foundation.
Negative grade slope is when the slope is downward towards the house. Negative grade is a problem that should be corrected to prevent possible flooding, water intrusion into the home, water ponding, soil erosion and other problems.
To provide great drainage around your home, you should always have the ground slope away from your home. The building code used to require that the ground have 6 inches of fall in the first 10 feet of horizontal run away from your home. That can be confusing to some.
All it means is that within 10 feet of your foundation, the ground should slope at least 6 inches. This change in elevation could happen within a foot, meaning it would be a very visible slope very close to your foundation walls.
Basement moisture problems can be caused by water penetration (leakage), dampness in the form of water and water vapour migrating from the soil through the basement enclosure, and sump pump failures and sewer backups; they can also be caused by internal sources (humidity and plumbing leaks).
Improper grading of the lot can result in poor surface drainage, ponding or flooding around the basement wall, foundation settlement or other damage, and basement dampness and other undesirable effects.
It is one of the main generators of customer complaints, call-backs, warranty repairs and legal proceedings following the completion and occupancy of a dwelling.
One more thing to consider are patios. This is a common landscape feature and one that invites problems. In time, patios almost always end up sloping toward the house. The 5% recommended slope could pose problems for interlock patios and related walkways next to the house. These require additional planning consideration.
A lesser slope may have to be used as a compromise, for reasons of practicality and safety. Gradual and consistent sloping away from the house (with a slope of 1%), using laser technology, in combination with thorough tamping, should allow acceptable outward water flow to be achieved during heavy rain events. Such patios can provide a more consistent surface for water runoff than other landscaping, hence the exception to the 5% rule.
If you have a consistent moisture problem in your basement from standing water to mold or mildew contact a professional home inspection company in your area. In Minneapolis Saint Paul call Inspections Plus Guru. With over 25 years of construction experience this family owned business can help identify your moisture issues and implement the necessary changes to mitigate the issue.
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