When it comes to maintaining your home, drainage problems are easy to miss. You probably won't show up until the damage is fixed and you have a major problem. However, timely detection and repair can keep your property in great condition and save you thousands of dollars. Being aware of the potential problems and understanding the slightest warning signs can keep you one step ahead of problems.
Here are the subtle warning signs to look out for, the earliest way to spot any drainage problems.
Basement water stains
It's easy to miss water stains in your basement because you rarely go there. Check the area regularly, however, as water marks down there can indicate a serious problem. Check the location of the stains to see if the problem is with surface or groundwater. The higher ones are to show that a gutter may overflow and there is nothing to worry about. Conversely, a stain that extends in a line around the basement could indicate a bigger problem and require expensive repairs.
Another sign that you should carefully examine is cracking in the foundation of the house. While they may be caused by the settlement of the structure over time, you need to watch out for any larger cracks. If you do notice them, keep an eye on them and check again to see if they grow over time. When the cracks seem to be getting bigger, it's time to call a structural engineer and proceed with the foundation repair.
Overflowing gutters are another subtle symptom to look out for. This can happen when dirt or leaves block the flow of water and need to be removed. Other warning signs include vertical streaks of dirt visible on the outside of the gutters, peeling paint in vertical streaks, and mud on the siding. It is important to watch out for overflowing rain gutters as these can cause structural damage if not checked. Fortunately, you can easily fix the problem by calling a professional to clear the gutters and restore normal flow.
Downpipes that empty
Rainwater is not good for the structural integrity of your home. If the downspouts near the foundation drain an excessive amount of water, it can get into the basement and destroy the floor and furniture. Take a close look at the downspouts and add to see if they drain water around the foundation. You can fix the problem by adding gutter extensions to draw the water away from the building.
Chipping and debris on the walls
The appearance of chipping and debris on the walls is also a cause for concern. The white or gray crust on the walls in the basement indicates efflorescence caused by the evaporation of water and leaving mineral deposits. The signs require better testing as they may or may not be indicative of a major problem. If the condition is only superficial, you can scrape off the crust. A deeper problem indicates a drainage problem and requires professional repair.
Drainage problems shouldn't be taken lightly as they can compromise the strength and integrity of your home. It's important to get professional help at the first sign of a problem, rather than waiting for things to get worse.