Permanent things you can do to prevent water issues

Short of being destroyed by fire or tornado, water is pretty much the single most destructive risk to your home. Whether the source is rain, improperly angled downspouts, or courtesy of your neighbour, it’s important to do everything you can to keep water from seeping or running into your built structures, and that starts with the grading of the lot.

“All downspouts should discharge water at least four feet away from your house and garage. ”
Lot grading—This should be at the top of the list for protecting your home. There should be a minimum slope of six inches over ten feet away from the house or other structures on your property. This will ensure water will run away from the structure, rather than pooling at its edges and forcing its way through holes and cracks into the basement. In addition, the ground should not be built up above the foundation or it could promote rotting of the walls above.

The grading recommendations also apply to your lower level windows. These should have wells filled with one foot of clean gravel above the properly graded slope, with a minimum clearance of 8 inches below the window. Grading only refers to the ground. Gravel or decorative mulches do nothing to divert water and should not be factored into the grading equation. The wells should be kept free of debris.

You should also check the caulking around your windows to ensure they are watertight.

Another source of water comes from the roof by way of the downspouts. All downspouts should discharge water at least four feet away from your house and garage.

Now you’ve addressed the risk of water ingress from the ground, so it’s time to look at your roof. Have a qualified roofer inspect the roof for damaged or missing shingles and flashing. Ideally, this would be done annually and after major storms. This can prevent water compromising the roof structure and protect the home from water entering from above.

Water entering your home inappropriately puts the structure and its contents at risk, so you might be thinking or investing in a water pumping system. Before you do, however, it’s best to address the source of the problem first. Whether seepage, drainage, defect or damage, getting to the source of the problem and fixing it are your first lines of defence.

Permanent things you can do to prevent water issues