One of the biggest foes any home can face is poor drainage around the foundation and with as much precipitation as Central Kentucky has had this past winter many of you are seeing the effects. Poor drainage can lead to many issues over the life of a home if not cared for properly and is an issue that comes up in many home inspections.
All homes have some sort of gutter system that funnels water into downspouts around the edges of the structure. These down spouts then empty out at the foundation/ground level, like in the picture above. The force and amount of the water at these points is much greater than other areas around the structure, which can lead to erosion of soil, break down of foundations, unnecessary settling of the house, leaky basements, wet crawl-spaces, and other various issues. So how do you prevent it?
1) Protect the ground where downspout empties with a Splash Guard. They can be plastic costing about $5-$10 at home improvement stores or you can opt for the longer lasting concrete ones that will run you about $25 each. These don’t get the water very far from your foundation but they do help and blend into your yard.
2) Get the water as far away from your foundation as possible. Most home improvement stores sell long extendable hoses that fit nicely onto the downspout end and you can direct them around your yard to get the best run off direction that you need. In the picture below, they are hiding them in the garden near the house. Probably will cost around $10-15 per hose, various colors and lengths. These may best for homes on hilly or sloped lots, but you will have to move them when you mow which can be a hassle.
3) The best of both worlds is to use the extendable tubes that connect to your downspout, but dig a trench and place the tube in the ground. Cover it and replace the grass or put a cute flower bed over it. Visually, no one will notice them. Lawn mowers won’t eat them up, and they will move the water away from your foundation and out into a better location for it to seep back into the ground. Just be sure to install them on a slight downhill slant so that gravity can to the work for you and you avoid back ups.
Bring it on April Showers!