Wet Basements, Downspouts and Grading
I recently went to a past client’s home who also happens to be a friend. He asked for my opinion regarding some improvements he was considering and about a few issues in his home. Before going to the basement, we walked around the outside and I noticed two downspouts (the vertical pipe that takes water from the gutter to the ground) that were not connecting well to their downspout extenders.
I recommend ensuring that the water expelled from the downspout extender is at least 10 feet from the home. While his system was designed well, the downspout had become detached from the downspout extender *photos below*. This resulted in water against the foundation wall and erosion of the soil creating negative grading. When we went downstairs, we found issues at exactly the two points that looked like they could be an issue. Fortunately for him, we caught the issue early and his fix will be very inexpensive.
Some situations absolutely require installing a sump pump and/or a french drain. That being said, I’ve found many instances where having the proper grading and downspout extenders is all the fix the home needs. You won’t hear this from many wet basement company sales associates who make enormous sums of money needlessly installing a french drain system and installing a sump pump.
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