When you think of all the things with potential to damage the footings and foundation of your home or commercial property, chances are, you’re not thinking about the site itself. In fact, even if you keep your guttering and downpipes in good repair, poor site drainage can contribute to foundation damage.
How a Lack of Site Drainage Causes Damage
Damp, soggy lawns are the least of your troubles if site drainage on your property is compromised. More than just a muddy lawn, you may also be facing damage to footings or foundations. When water begins to pool around footings or the soil surrounding a foundation is consistently waterlogged, the extended presence of moisture can and will weaken foundations, damage footings and lead to structural damage. There are several different factors which can contribute to poor site drainage, which may not always be immediately obvious to the untrained eye.
Slopes can lend visual interest to your property, for instance, but they can also send water sluicing to the lowest point. Depending on the presence of man-made drainage systems and the condition of the soil upon which your structure is built, water may be retained in the soil for extended periods of time. Slope-related drainage problems can usually be addressed with the addition of ditches or even a subsurface drain.
Human traffic can also be an unexpected source of site drainage issues. Just building your home or commercial building can compact the soil and diminish its ability to absorb water properly. Compounded by foot traffic and the presence of vehicles, compacted soil becomes even less absorbent over time.
Detecting and Addressing Site Drainage Issues
If there are standing puddles on your property long after the rain has stopped, it’s fairly obvious to even those without experience in the building trades, that there may be a problem afoot. Site drainage issues which present the most danger to footings and building foundations are those which aren’t so easily spotted. For property owners who are planning a new construction project, drainage problems may not even be apparent until the structure is erected.
This is where the assistance of a professional building inspector can be invaluable. Unlike builders and landscaping professionals with a vested financial interest in finding fault with site drainage on your property, a professional building inspector has no financial stake in the findings of their report. Whether you’re getting ready to begin a new construction project on your new property or are simply concerned about the quality of drainage on your existing site, working with a professional building inspection company can help you avoid danger to footings and damage to foundations by detecting and addressing site drainage issues before they become a costly and difficult problem to fix.
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