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Anticipation of Drainage Issues…What a Mess!

Most winter seasons in Michigan, there are gradual melt downs (above freezing temperatures) in between snow storms that allow for the snow to melt away.  This year, we haven’t had a true melt down of the snow that fell just after the holidays.  Above freezing temperatures are on the forecast (Source:  NOAA, 2/13/14), and it may be a good time to start preparing your property for the melt down to come to avoid drainage issues. bigstock-Ice-on-roof-and-gutters-52324966

First and foremost, removal of the snow away from your foundation, especially where it has built up near your basement windows and doors.  Also, all other areas of your foundation should have the snow pushed away from the foundation in to a direction that leads away from your home; this would assist the melted snow with an avenue for flow.

In addition, don’t forget that planting beds, including the plants, mulch and/or landscape rock may retain moisture, and it is best to remove the snow from these areas as well, with caution to avoid damage to plant life.

Also, be sure that your gutters and downspouts are not blocked from debris.  This will allow positive flow of melting ice and snow to travel to through your downspouts.   Also, be careful of those icicles, they can be dangerous!

Be aware to not push your snow a top of storm drains in your neighborhood.  These areas need to be able to function properly so that water can flow as intended for the entire community.

If you simply just don’t have the time to, and/or if you are already experiencing water in your basement, it may be time to contact a professional.

Below are some things to think about….

  • Your Sump Pump: Do you have a sump pump in your basement? If so, how often does it run? Is it running almost constantly, indicating a steady leak, or just occasionally, indicating irregular leakage? Either one likely may indicate that there’s a problem with your home’s foundation, which is an issue that should certainly be addressed sooner rather than later.
  • Daylight Exit Systems: Is your sump pump connected to a daylight exit system? Is the water being dumped a suitable distance from your home, say into a storm sewer or a pond, or is your system just dumping the water right back into your yard? If the latter is true you might be experiencing an unfortunate cycle which cannot end without some type of correction, either a reconfiguring of your system or a shift in your yard’s landscaping.
  • When it Leaks: How often does leakage occur? Generally, if there is a leak there will be a number of telltale signs, including puddles of water on the floor and water damage to boxes and other items in the room. Does your basement only leak when there’s a heavy rain? Does it leak regardless of the weather, such as when there’s been no rain at all for a good while? Does it only leak during particular seasons or under certain conditions?
  • Your Landscaping: Sometimes leaking can occur because of the way your yard is laid out. Does your yard slop towards your home or away from it? Do you have a buffer, a landscape bed to halt the progress of water towards your home? Do you have trees on your property? Where are they located? Do your downspouts dump water back into your yard or elsewhere?