Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Ok, dry summers mean a lot more than just foundation cracks. But today we are here to focus on one thing and one thing only.
If you are a homeowner, by this time of your it's safe to say your yard is most likely dried up like a sponge that hasn't been used in weeks. You know what I'm talking about, right? When they dry up and curl a bit?
That is exactly what has happened to the soil around your foundation. Except instead of curling up, the soil has pulled away, creating a gap around your foundation walls.
Even if that gap is only a quarter of an inch, that is enough space to create what is essentially a funnel around your foundation.
You know what happens when you have rain?
That funnel will capture water and allow it to fall right next to your foundation walls and creep in any of the cracks that are present.
If your gutters and/or downspouts are clogged this will only exacerbate the issue. Water can spill over the sides (kind of a waterfall effect) just inches from that funnel around your foundation.
Then things get interesting. The seeping becomes a heavy trickle or perhaps a virtual waterfall into your BASEMENT.
So how do you prevent this fall surprise?
There are three simple solutions to help in preventing this:
1. Water your foundation
That’s right, water your foundation. Kansas City has many areas of town with huge mature trees. However, the root systems of those huge trees are kind of like massive straws sucking the water out of your lawn. By watering the soil around your foundation, you keep the soil right up against your foundation which allows for better watershed away from your home. A best practice could be to install drip hoses around the perimeter of your home, especially if you have bushes or trees close to the foundation. This prevents the soil from pulling back and creating that gap in the first place.
2. Clean your gutters
Enough said. Cleaning your gutters allows for the water to quickly exit your gutters and downspouts and out into the yard. This will prevent the water effect that we discussed earlier which keeps excess rainfall away from your foundation walls.
3. Extend or bury your downspouts.
Downspouts should be extended at least six feet or more from your foundation. Unfortunately, most gutter or roofing companies install gutters with downspouts that dump right next to the foundation. This is all wrong! Extending or better yet, burying your downspouts and extending them out into the yard is a best practice. Extending or burying the downspouts finishes the job that the gutters started.
We are not roofers or landscapers, it's true. But we are a team of real estate agents that are here to help you extend the life of your home for yourself and a future potential buyer. This also means we won't do this work for you ;)
But we do have a great list of professional service providers we work with in the Kansas City area who CAN take care of this should you wish for someone to help you out with this or any other home task. Take care of these things now so you can enjoy the cooler weather and get ready for those fall rains! (And pumpkin spice everything... but don't tell Beth we said that!)