The weather in Lethbridge has been unusually rainy the past month. This had had a an impact on the local Lethbridge real estate market. It has caused problems for some homeowners and kept some others from being able to put their home on the market.
This past week I was out showing lethbridge homes for sale on the West side of the city. Of the dozen or so homes that I viewed this weekend, more than half of them were vacant. These vacant homes are more susceptible to getting water in the basement due to neglecting to ensure that proper drainage is in place. Fortunately none of the houses I viewed had any signs of flooding or water in the basement, but there was a few that definitely had water problems coming if not attended to right away.
If you are a homeowner in Lethbridge Alberta, you need to be prepared to deal with the strange weather that we receive. Here are some tips:
Basement flooding problems are best diagnosed by working your way down from the eavestroughs and downspouts, to the lot and foundation drainage, and then to the plumbing system — both inside your home and beyond its connection to the municipal sewer system.
Eavestroughs and Downspouts
Water pours off your eavestroughs into downspouts. If the downspouts are dumping the water right beside your foundation, it drains directly to the weeping tile and can easily overload your home’s drainage. Make sure downspouts extend at least 1.8 metres (6 feet) from your basement wall. Also, be sure the water does not drain toward your neighbour’s basement walls. It should drain away from your house toward the street, rear yard, or back lane.
If your downspouts are connected to your home’s sewer system, or weeping tile, disconnect them.
Clean debris from eavestroughs regularly. If they overflow even when clean, replace them with larger size eavestroughs and downspouts.
If the land around your home slopes in toward the foundation, rainwater heads right for the weeping tile around the basement and can overload your foundation drainage system. The land around many homes settles over time, and then slopes in toward the foundation. If your lot slopes inward, you’ll want to fill in and grade the lot so that, for at least 1.8 metres (6 feet) out from around the foundation, the land slopes away from your house.
Build up the ground around your house so that water drains away from your basement walls. Also, examine sidewalks, patios, decks and driveways. These can settle over time and cause water to drain back towards your basement walls (Figure 3).
Extend downspouts so that water flows away from your house and does not collect next to the basement walls and windows.
Proper drainage helps to:
- Reduce the amount of water flowing to your home’s sewer system and to the main sewer system, and lessen the risk of sewer backup
- Reduce water seepage into your home through basement windows and cracks in your basement walls.
- Keep the moisture content of the soil around and under your house stable to reduce the chances of cracking and shifting. If water collects next to your basement, it can make its way to the footings that support the basement walls. The increased moisture may cause the footings to heave or settle
- Extend the life of your sump pump by reducing the amount of work it has to do.