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How to Keep Rainwater Away from Your House’s Structure

How to Keep Rainwater Away from Your House’s Structure

If you live in an area with frequent rainstorms — a growing issue across much of the country — you may struggle to keep rainwater away from your home. Excessive water can crack and shift foundations, ruin siding, and even cause interior harm. Follow these tips to make sure your house doesn’t become another water damage statistic.

Use Landscaping to Your Advantage

If water pools around your foundation after a good rain, sometimes landscaping can come to your rescue. Thirsty plants will soak up rainwater, making it less likely to run toward your home. Ferns, daylilies, and red twig dogwoods are just a few of the species that love water. Your local garden center can make suggestions that work for your home.

Build Terraces and Berms into the Landscape Design

You may need to stop or slow down water before it nears your property, especially if you have a yard that slopes toward your house. In this case, work with a professional landscape architect who can design berms or terraces to manage rainwater before it approaches your foundation.

Install French Drains

French drains are ideal for managing permanent damp spots. This solution uses a perforated pipe set in a ditch covered with gravel. The pipe carries water away from your home’s structure to a more suitable location. Like terracing, this method of dealing with rainwater is best left to a professional to install, but the money you spend will likely be money saved on damage over the long term.

Make Sure Your Gutters Are Up to the Job

If your gutters and downspouts aren’t up to the task, you’ll get water puddling around your home every time it rains. Make sure your gutters are the right size for the surface area of your roof — you may need oversized gutters to handle the water.

Also, keep gutters clean, at least every spring and fall, if not after every major storm. Screening placed over the top to keep out leaves and other yard debris will help minimize clogs and the need for frequent cleanings.

Recycle Your Rainwater with Rain Barrels

If you get a huge amount of rain emerging from your downspouts with nowhere to safely channel it, consider collecting it in rain barrels. You can then recycle the water to wash your car or water your garden later. It will save on your water bill, and it’s healthier for the environment.

Consider a Sump Pump for Emergencies

If issues persist, you may want to install a sump pump in the lowest level of the home. This type of pump senses rising water, either from rain or high water tables in the area, and automatically pumps it away from the home to a place that can handle it.

Watch Out for Ponding from Other Causes

Sometimes it’s not rain that’s causing moisture problems around your structure. If you’ve eliminated rain as the culprit but still have water issues, it’s time to call a plumber. You may have an issue with your septic system, a waste line, or a leaking pipe that needs to be fixed.

Stay on top of these water problems so you can enjoy your home free from worry about water damage.