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Mastering the Art of Water Diversion: A Homeowner's Guide to Keeping Your Home Dry

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

Water damage is a silent threat that can wreak havoc on your home. However, diverting water away from your property is often a neglected aspect of home maintenance. Here's how you can ensure that water steers clear of your home, preserving its structural integrity.

Water's Path of Least Resistance

It's essential to identify the path that water is most likely to take and direct it away from your home. Water often leaves signs like soil erosion or concrete settling. Take note of these indicators and start your water management plan accordingly.

The Role of Downspouts

The first place to focus on is the location of your gutter downspouts. Given the large volume of water they channel, you'll want to make sure they're well-positioned to direct water away from your home. If the natural grading of your land doesn't allow for this, consider installing underground corrugated piping. These pipes can be connected to pop-up emitters or daylight outlets to help manage water flow. Alternatively, French drains can also be a useful solution.

Importance of Grading

Inspect the grading around your property. Does it slope away from your house? If not, you'll want to address this. Aim for at least 8 inches of clearance below the top of your foundation for softscape elements, and 6 inches for hardscaping.

Slope Measurements

Take a tape measure and extend it out 10 feet from your foundation. You should observe a slope that drops by at least half an inch per foot, resulting in a total drop of 5 inches over 10 feet. If you don't have this natural gradient, it's not the end of the world, but make sure some slope exists.

Driveway Considerations

Sometimes, the slope of your driveway may direct water towards your house. If your driveway doesn't already have a drainage system, it's not too late to install one. Through precise saw cutting and the application of siliconized caulking, a drainage system can be implemented without ripping out the entire driveway.

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