Monday, April 11, 2016

Big Impact Spring Home Maintenance Tips

Big Impact Spring Home Maintenance Tips 

Springtime is typically known for heavy amounts of rain, variable temperatures and higher levels of ground water from thawed permafrost. Be sure to take advantage of these home maintenance tips that are simple, affordable and do not consume a lot of time. The result of your efforts could mean big savings down the road!

Grading around the foundation 

The foundation of your home is vitally important to the long-term condition of your property. One of the easiest tasks that is best fit for spring is adding soil around the low-spots near and around the foundation of your home. Start with the areas closest to your foundation and work your way across the landscape, redirecting water away from your home instead of into your foundation. Larger amounts of soil should be added closest to your home to create a grade that directs water away from the penetration points of your foundation and into your yard. 

Reason being, as spring is prone to heavy rain, water always wants to find its way back to the ground. As permafrost thaws and groundwater breaks, it's very easy for the soil and sediment around your home to erode away. As it erodes, the rain and groundwater begins to pond. Ponding results in heavy amounts of water seeping into the lowest areas around the home, including small cracks and penetrations near the structure. 

Temperatures tend to fluctuate, sometimes quite heavily during springtime. Mornings may be cool and wet, while the afternoon sun warms the ground and helps excess ground water thaw and rise to the surface. As it rises, and night falls, cool temperatures are prone to be below freezing. As the water works its way within the cracks and penetration points around your foundation, that freezing water expands, creating larger gaps and penetration points for a multitude of short and long-term potential problems. 

Here is an example of the cause-and-effect grading can have not only on your foundation, but on the interior portion of your exterior walls. The second photo is taken from the inside of the area where the lowest portion of brick begins to appear. This is the effect moisture has trying to make its way into the structure.

Downspout Extensions 

For the same reasons as adding soil around your foundation, properly functioning downspout extensions are extremely important during the springtime. Begin by checking each downspout extension around your home, as well as your gutters, for any cracks, leaks, unsecured anchors, broken pieces, missing extensions, or inadequate lengths to direct water away from your home. This task will save you big time.  

A proper downspout extension system will allow the rainwater to safely and freely travel from the highest point of your roof to the refilled areas around the home that have been regraded, correctly moving that water away from your home and into your lawn (creating a richer soil for your grass to sprout and grow healthy). 

Direct the end of your extensions at least 5 feet away from your home, use sealant to fix any potential leaks or penetration areas, and replace any missing elbows or connection pieces sooner than later.Replace splash plates with larger extensions and check your progress during the next rainfall. You'll be surprised how well you can see your downspout systems functioning when it's raining, compared to dry. 

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