Spring is coming: So is runoff
By Gabe Semenza
Have you seen that big yellow thing in the sky? I believe scientists refer to it as a sun. I distinctly remember seeing it sometime last October.
Ah, spring. I can already smell the flowers. And the bear scat.
Missoula meteorologists predict a warm-up during the next seven days. Temperatures could reach the mid-50s by next week.
As KPAX notes: "As a result of warming daytime temperatures, snow melt will begin in the lower elevations. With the ground still frozen, the melting water will not be able to soak into the ground and will start accumulating in low-lying areas."
Because of this, now is the time to move snow away from your home. Standing water that pools near your foundation can seep into your crawlspace or basement. This sort of water can lead to various problems, including wood deterioration, mold and even mildew.
Do what it takes now to keep moisture away from your home. Clean your gutters of debris so they can move runoff from your roof. Be sure to also inspect your downspouts to determine if they properly move water away from your foundation. More often than not, I find they stop near the foundation and thus direct water too close to the home. You might need to install downspout extensions to finish the job. This is an easy, relatively affordable correction. Most hardware stores sell these extensions for $10-$20.
A general rule of thumb is to ensure your grading drops six inches - with the slope draining away from your home - over a 10-foot span. This degree of slope will allow gravity to do the heavy lifting. Make sure to keep that in mind when installing downspout extensions. As you'll see in the photos below, many point toward and not away from the home.
If you need help determining whether the grading and gutter system at your home is adequate, give me a call.
I'll be the guy in the shorts and a tank top.
Examples of downspouts that terminate too close to the home:
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