Spring has sprung… as so has our Spring edition of our Fairfield Home Inspection blog series. The old rhyme is that April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring wet basements. Parts of Fairfield County, CT over the past couple of weeks have seen an excessive amount of rain, which has contributed to moisture in many crawlspaces and basements of homes. While predicting what level of rain may be a breaking point for water entry is not possible, there are a few areas you can address at the exterior of your property to help protect your basement and foundation before investing in a wet basement system.

Two readily accessible things you can visually inspect at your home are the gutters and the grading. Today we’ll talk about grading, and by grading we are referring to the pitch of the soil at the exterior of the home. There is positive grading, which is soil that is sloping away from the home, and negative grading, which is soil that is sloping towards the home. Living in Fairfield County, we know that the topography may present us with challenges, but it is extremely important to examine a home for positive grading, as you want water to run away from the foundation, not towards it. Your soil should grade away from the home at 1 inch per foot for 6, even 10 feet, if possible. Look for any areas of settlement as well that may contribute to ponding next to the foundation. Read more about grading here

If you have negative grade, you can simply add soil to help increase the grade. However, you have to be careful to not increase the soil to where it is contact with the siding of the home. Poor clearance from soil to sidling can lead to moisture and wood destroying insect damage. If there is not enough clearance, consider the installation of a swale. A swale is a gently sloped ditch that can help route drainage away from trouble spots in the home. Subsurface perimeter drains (French drains) are another option to help manage moisture accumulation adjacent to the foundation.
Looking for a Fairfield home inspection company to help identify and prevent potential wet basement problems? Your search stops here.

Next, in our Fairfield Home Inspection blog series, we’ll move on to gutter systems and installation tips to help prevent the dreaded wet basement.

Thanks for reading!