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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Defend Your Home Against Its Worst Enemy: Water

Water is essential for your home’s landscaping, but is also your home’s worst enemy. Water damage can hit at the core strength of your house, eventually causing serious structural damage. As years go by a house's foundation wears down and water can seep into the walls and cause mold or dampness. If your basement has a water problem, or if it hasn't but you intend to finish the basement and you don't want your work ruined, it is well worth the effort to ensure the basement stays dry.

Preventing water damage is a whole lot cheaper than paying for repairs. Here are some ways to ensure that your home is defended from water.


Make sure your gutters are in working condition and not clogged. One downspout should not drain more than 35 feet of gutter. The downspout should drain water at least 3 to 5 feet away from your home’s foundation. Adding an extension on the bottom of gutter downspouts is another way to direct water away from the foundation.


The ground should slope away from the foundation of your home at least 6 inches over a distance of 10 feet. You can build up the grade around your home by adding a soil and rock (or sand) mixture. But make sure that you leave at least 6 inches of your foundation exposed for inspection, to get air and for any repairs.

Proper Grade

Flower Bed Design:

Make sure borders on flower beds have openings to allow rainwater to drain away from the house. Are you using wood in your landscaping? Stone or brick options are better for landscaping borders than wood. Damp wood invites termites and carpenter ants; plus, it causes mold and mildew.

Plant Choice:

Azalea Bush
Certain plants, shrubs, trees, and ground covers that grow very slowly will soak up more water than other species. Rhododendrons, azaleas, ornamental holly trees, and certain types of boxwood work best. If you know the foundation of your structure has moisture present, these types of plantings can help you control it naturally.

Landscaping Maintenance:

Trim them back trees, bushes, and shrubs: so there’s at least a body’s distance between the plant and your house, to promote airflow. Also, hard soil or mulch won’t let water drain slowly, so turn soil or mulch near the house yearly.


Install footer drain, French drain or a sump pump and check that it is functioning properly on a regular basis. Another option is to use a rain barrel to collect the surge of water when it rains and then slowly drain the barrel over the next day by having it hooked to a hose leading to a garden or flower bed. Air-conditioning units can also create unwanted water-logged areas. Consider extending your unit's drain pipe to direct extra water away from the foundation


Try to waterproof your foundation walls with a product such as Drylok or Xypex if you have minor, intermittent leaks. Drylok is a waterproofer not a water sealer. It expands as it dries to become part of the wall.

Check for Leaks:

Check for dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets, stains on ceilings, toilets that rock, and of course drips. At least once a year, inspect your roof. Repair missing, loose, and damaged shingles. Repair any cracked caulking and check for leaks around flashing.

Don’t Depend on Insurance:

Did you know that regular insurance doesn’t cover flooding? Doing the above should help keep your home safe from water damage. If you live near any flood prone areas speak with your insurance representative about your options.

The Boehmer Team understands how important your home investment is. Do you have more home repairs and updates needed than you have time and money for? Maybe it is time to look for a new home. Visit to find great homes on the market today.


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