Gutters and clearing landscaping away from foundation


  #1  
Old 04-23-09, 10:46 AM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 32
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Gutters and clearing landscaping away from foundation

Hello, I'm moving into my new house soon and there are a couple things that were pointed out by the inspector that I want to address but have questions about.

The sellers have said that sometimes, damp spots can appear in the unfinished basement during heavy rains. The house does not have gutters, so that's the first, and biggest, thing I am going to do. The question I would have is, would having those cement pieces that direct the water from the downspouts to about 2'-3' away from the house be sufficient? Or do I need to get far more involved and actually pipe the water away? The grade of the soil is 'average' acording to public record. From my own perspective it slopes away some on half the house, and is fairly falt on the other half.

I've seen houses with pretty flat grades just using the cement things and they have no water problems, but I've heard some people say you have to pipe it away and maybe even dig a dry well ...

Second, the inspector recommended clearning the landscaping away from the house. My question is, how far? On most of the house the grass goes right up to the foundation. The front has it cleared back about 2 or 3 feet, but has shrubs that are touching the siding. I'd assume the shrubs need cut back or removed so they no longer touch. For the grass though, how far from the house should it be cleared? What do i put in its place? Just pea stone, or should I put something down to prevent weed growth in addition to pea stones?

Thank you!

Please be as specific as you can ... I'm clueless on what things are called.
 
  #2  
Old 04-23-09, 11:28 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,460
Received 47 Upvotes on 43 Posts
Hi Geo, being from the NE as well, gutters can be a problem, that's why many are left off. Snow and ICE can clog them in winter adding to ice dams. Did you see the house during the peak of the winter, any ice?
As for flat around the house, allow 6 inches for frost. That means the soil 4 feet from the house will rise 6 inches when the ground freezes. Generally you want to divert water at least 6 feet away from the house. Grass next to the foundation is not bad. In my experience, underground pipes to direct water away usually fail due to freezing as well.

Good Luck
Bud
 
  #3  
Old 04-23-09, 12:19 PM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 32
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
It was my understanding that gutters do not cause ice dams. They can make the problem worse though.

In any case, if water comes into the basement that is a problem that needs to be fixed, and gutters are likely the cheapest, and most effective ways to combat it.

Ice daming can be, mostly, prevented I think by propper ventalation and insulation in the attic.
 
  #4  
Old 04-23-09, 01:13 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,460
Received 47 Upvotes on 43 Posts
That's the right approach on ice. Gutters just seem to get in the way and in that sense cause ice dams to be worse.

Allow for the frost and, if you can, get a good slope away from the foundation for 4 or 5 feet. If you have a slope the 2 or 3' cement pieces will get the water moving in the right direction. In problem areas a length of leader added at the bottom will help.

IMO a good base of grass next to the house tends to help force the water to run off. Take care of any cracks and you sound like you are all set.

Bud
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: