Its fall!  Which means it’s a great time of year for home maintenance checks. With winter right around the corner…  now is a great opportunity to invest in a little routine upkeep before the weather turns.  This time of year preventative maintenance is key and yes it can go a long way to help avoid future foundation problems.

Every so often we like to remind everyone that there are several things you can do to help ward off future problems.  Please see below for several tips for the fall.

Cleaning Gutters
With trees starting to loose their leaves it is very important to make sure that gutters remain clean and clear.  Leaves, twigs and debris can clog gutters. This has the potential to keep them from directing water to the downspouts for proper drainage. Buildup can lead to overflowing gutters in areas not meant to accommodate excess water.

Keep Downspouts Clean
Downspouts are designed to direct the water collected by the gutters away from your foundation for proper drainage. Clogged downspouts and build up of debris can cause a backup or overflow of the gutters, again impeding the appropriate drainage, potentially allowing for water to puddle around the foundation in areas not designed to appropriately absorb excess water.

Clean Drains/Drainage pipes
Make sure drainage pipes/drains are kept clean and clear of leaves, debris and yard waste.  Keep in mind that if water is unable to drain as intended it will find another route. This can cause unwanted  erosion as well as the potential of making its way toward your homes foundation.

Other items to note:

  • Inspect home foundations and crawl spaces for signs of water infiltration or other issues
  • Check retaining walls for cracking, leaning or other signs of failure
  • Check that your sump pump is plugged in and functioning appropriately

In closing, its key to address any issues you are aware of as soon as you can. If you know you have foundation cracks that are leaking, consult with an engineer to determine the best path forward.  Taking care of foundation/drainage issues sooner rather than later will likely save you money in the long runAllowing moisture to continue to infiltrate the home can cause additional structural issues as well as lead to issues with mold growth and health concerns.  If you have a foundation concern contact a licensed structural engineer to have it evaluated.  NOTE: Licensed structural engineers are the best qualified individuals to evaluate foundation problems and provide you with an independent assessment. This enables you the homeowner to know exactly what repairs are needed.