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RidgeLine's home maintenance 'How To' blog. Search the Categories on the right for articles to help solve your problems.
It's Spring time again in Northern Ohio and that means rain. With April, May, and June being the rainiest months throughout the year your, basement sump pump is about to get a workout.
Many people look at their wet basement and automatically think something is wrong with their basement. Maybe it needs repaired? Maybe it needs waterproofing? Your problem might be way more simple.
The best way to prevent a wet basement is to divert the water away from your house. Preventing most water from reaching your basement is the best way to prevent a wet basement. This is exactly what your gutters and downspout are supposed to do but many times they fail to do their job.
Your gutters collect the rain water that falls on your house and sends it rushing down the downspouts. At this point, the water heads out through the elbow and does one of two things. The water can flow away from your house through a downspout extension or it spills out six inches away from your house. The thing is, if you don't have downspout extensions water simply soaks in around your foundation and can eventually find its way into your basement. As a general rule InterNACHI, the International Association of Home Inspetors, recommends you need to get the water a minimum of four to six feet away from your house. You should make your extensions longer if the ground is relatively flat around your house.
The two most common ways to extend your downspouts after the elbow is more downspout or a splash block. Splash blocks are the concrete or plastic troughs you see under some downspouts. Splash blocks are relatively effective, but can be a little short in many situations.
Adding a downspout after the elbow can be extremely effective because you can go a long way if the ground does not fall away from your house very fast. I've seen a downspout that had 40 plus feet of plastic drain pipe after the elbow.
If you choose to use downspout as your extension make sure to keep it clear of leaves and other debris. There are many more ways to get rain water away from your house. Downspout extensions are the most basic and most popular method. Finally, if you’re like me, try not to smash the end closed by stepping on it when you’re mowing!