That’s a Lot of Water
Portland gets an average rainfall of 36 inches per year. An inch of rain falling on a 1000 square foot roof amounts to over 600 gallons. If that house has two downspouts, then picture 6 full bathtubs emptying on each splash block just 2 feet from your foundation. That’s a lot of water! And it has to go somewhere.
Water undermines foundations
You also need to keep the footprint of your house as dry and stable as possible. We all know that moisture in a crawlspace or basement can lead to mold and rot. But mismanaging rainwater can lead to structural problems as well. Excessively wet soil allows the foundation to sink, causing cracks in interior walls, cracks in foundation walls, sloping floors, and other problems.
While homeowners will usually notice water in the basement, hardly anyone knows what is going on in a crawl space until I go in for an inspection. I always encourage homeowners to monitor their crawl spaces for excessive water or other problems.
Rainwater is the Culprit
If you have water coming into your basement or crawl space, the first thing to check is your rainwater management: gutters, downspouts, and drainage. In heavy rain, clogged gutters and downspouts will overflow. I have noticed that even when homes have clean gutters and are set up to manage water coming through the downspouts, the standard 5-inch gutters may not be able to handle all the water from a heavy downpour.
Consider larger gutters
If you are replacing your gutters, I recommend going with 6-inch gutters and 3’’ x 4” downspouts. Larger gutters can handle more water and also take longer to fill with debris. I also always recommend professionally installed seamless gutters. The DYI gutters I see often leak at the joints (every 10’ or less).
So keep your feet dry AND your house’s feet dry.
See you in the field!
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