“Out of sight, out of mind” as the saying goes usually pertains to the foundation drainage system around your house. It seems the only time attention is paid to this extremely important system in your home is usually when there is a water problem in your basement or crawlspace or active foundation settlement is evident. The time of year when this happens is often during a period of heavy rain during winter months. This drainage system probably has the least amount of maintenance done on it but can cause you and cost you the most amount of problems in the house.
The foundation perimeter drain is usually located at the bottom of the foundation footing all around the perimeter of the house. In older construction (1960’s) the drain was composed of clay or concrete drain tiles approximately 12 to 18″ long and laid end to end with a graduated slope all around the perimeter of the house. In the 1970’s and 80’s the drain pipe was composed of perforated thin wall plastic called “Big O” pipe. In newer construction there is basically a dual system of water collection around foundations. A closed pipe system for the roof water and pvc pipe laid right at the bottom of the foundation footing on a gradual slope.
No matter when the house was built or where, the perimeter drainage is essential to the longevity of the home. Living on the West coast means heavy annual precipitation. Learning how to keep moisture away from your home and maintaining the drainage systems ensuring they are functioning is essential to reduce the chance of moisture penetration/infiltration.
Inspections include; lot grading and drainage, moisture infiltration, dry rot damage, wood boring insects, siding, decks, porches and out buildings