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Here’s why you should take a look at your landscape, grading and drainage

(Pixabay Photo)

Phoenix and all the surrounding cities only average 8 to 10 inches of rainfall a year. It seems as if that amount of water is too little to make anything bigger than a large puddle. But how that water drains off your house and landscape — especially during a torrential monsoon storm — can be very destructive.

If the water doesn’t drain away smoothly and quickly, you can have flooding or even mini ponds on your lot, sidewalk or patios. Soil can wash away from your home’s foundation areas and excess moisture can build up under the foundation.

Because of the low rainfall, many Arizona homes were built with flat roofs or roofs with very little slope to them. Sometimes there is no drainage equipment, except for scuppers, those metal-framed holes in parapet walls on the roof. As a result, water dumps off the roof quickly and ends up right next to your home’s foundations where soil may start washing away.

When your home was built, there was probably some form of drainage plan. But if you landscaped your yard, you may have filled in retention holes that were created when the house was built.

Signs of drainage problems can be cracks in your walls and sinking or sagging concrete walks or driveways.

To protect your foundations, you need to:

  • Clean out and repair your gutters regularly.
  • Install gutters if you don’t already have them so that water doesn’t simply pour off the roof onto your home’s walls.
  • Divert any water coming from downspouts or gutters by using splash blocks or a downspout extension.
  • Make sure that new grading for landscaping is not diverting water so that it is held next to the foundations of your house.
  • Create new drainage holes in the block walls surrounding your home. However, remember that you cannot divert the water that falls on your property to your neighbor’s lot.
  • Do not overwater plants near the foundation, fence walls or on patios and make no landscape plantings within 2 feet of the house.

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