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Pitter Patter: Is that rain I hear; Again?

September 27, 2012

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain telling me just what a fool I’ve been. Does that make you cringe? If you have bad gutters, a leaking basement or any other issues with the rain, it does (or maybe you just hate that song – and I’m sorry that now it is running through your head).

We are into the rainy season and you NEED to be thinking again about all the fixes that you forgot about while we were in the heat wave. You know what I am talking about. Gutters, grading, downspouts, loose siding, cracked foundations, etc.

So here are a couple of pointers I want you to think about and DO something with. No procrastination because the sun is out and you are sitting there drinking a mint iced tea in the back yard around the pool. Get up now before that 6pm thunderstorm hits.

1.     If the water is building in the basement you need to haul some dirt up and slope the ground around the foundation AWAY from the house. If that doesn’t work you are most likely going to need a French-drain put in. You will need to call a contractor to do this.

2.    Look at your downspout position. Is it leaving the rain water to drain right next to the house? If so, buy an extension and move the water away from the house into the yard further.

3.    Check the gutters. Be sure they are cleaned out, don’t have any breaks or damaged areas. (FIX THEM) If you see drip marks on the ground below it means that something is wrong and you need to address the issue because the water is not flowing to where it needs to go.

4.    If the gutter is sagging you need to add the brackets back on so that they are stable and don’t come tumbling down during a heavy rainstorm. Or if they have spikes, make sure the spike is hammered in tightly.

5.    Keep the area in your basement steps clear of debris. This is the number ONE cause I find for basement flooding. I have found cardboard, toys, bricks, dog balls, and other “gross” things clogging up those drainage holes at the bottom of the steps. If those aren’t checked you can have them clog within hours and the damage is significant in these afternoon downpours.

6.    Keep your door sweeps in good condition. Water has a sneaky way of finding a low spot and working its way in under the door. Check them NOW for cracks, loose spots (and maybe you don’t even have one). Can you see daylight under your door (hmmmmm….maybe you might want to add in a door sweep so that BUGS don’t get in – even before the water does).

To keeping dry this fall season,

Jo Ellen Soesbee, the ToolBox TomGirl

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