Grading of your property should be the first step prior to any landscape items being installed. Make sure you & your landscaper have a clear understanding of how your property will be graded to direct storm runoff away from property.
As a real estate Inspector, I’ve seen numerous drainage problems. The story is usually the Home Builder blaming the Landscape or Pool contractor & the Landscape or Pool contractor blaming the Home Builder for the Drainage problems.
Unfortunately, many times the homeowner is left footing the bill of often several thousand dollars because the Builder or Unlicensed Landscaper or Pool builder have gone out of business & are nowhere to be found or the warranty has expired.
The truth is that it is usually a combination of all of the contractors involved that contribute to drainage problems.
You as the homeowner should be vigilant in making sure that during every step of the building process that all contractors are paying attention to Grading, Drainage & Erosion control.
Signs of water intrusion or damage
- Cracking in the Plaster of your walls
- Cracking, Sinking or Sagging Concrete Walks or Driveway
- Cracking Floor Tiles or heaving of wood floors
- Doors or Windows won’t close properly
- Water damage to the Baseboards or Plaster
- Mold growing on Baseboards or Plaster
- Crack on the inside slab under the carpet
- Exterior privacy/perimeter walls cracking or falling apart
- Slopping floors
- Water in under slab HAVC Return lines
If you see any of these signs you should start by identifying the source of the moisture or water intrusion.
In order to maintain the structural integrity of your home, long after you close escrow, proper planning and maintenance of the finish grading, pool and landscaping are the responsibility of the homeowner. We recommend the homeowner take the following preventative measures;
* It’s a good idea to go out during or after a rainstorm to identify any standing water next to your homes foundation.
* Make sure that positive drainage away from your foundation is maintained
* Do not over water plants near the foundation, patios or fence walls.
* Care should be taken when adding pool or landscaping improvements to ensure that any mounding or grade changes direct surface water away from the home and are in conformance with the general grading plans of the home site.
* Check to make sure there are no leaks or excessive water from irrigation systems.
* No landscape plantings should be placed within 2 feet of the house.
* Keep Plants that need a lot of water at least 6′ from your homes foundation.
* Pipe A/C Condensation lines away from your foundation.
* Be careful not to backwash pool water close to the house, Water can migrate up to 15′ underground.
* Make sure the soil level around your home is not higher than the stucco line & that you have a positive grade away from the foundation.
* Get Rain gutters. If you already have Rain gutters, Direct gutter downspouts away from your house or pipe them directly into a drain pipe and run the pipe away from your house.
* Sewer lines & other water lines that run under your house can leak. If you suspect you have an under the slab leak, a leak detector/locator contractor can test for breaches in your sewer lines or water supply lines.
*And finally, be sure there is no stagnant water in low lying spots in the yard that don’t drain for long periods during rainy seasons where mosquito’s can breed.
For Residential or Commercial Property Inspection services in the Sacramento and Bay Area please contact Golden State Home Inspections at 800.441.0804 or visit: http://www.goldenstatehomeinspections.com