Drainage around a house or property is one to the most over looked items when purchasing a home. Water is the enemy of any home or building and poor drainage just increases the probability for that water to cause problems.


Common problems that poor drainage around a home can cause:

  1. Foundation Deterioration: Excessive amounts of water can begin to deteriorate the integrity of concrete overtime.  The foundation can become brittle and the concrete can crack when scrapped with a screw driver.  Efflorescence, a white chalky residue on the interior of the foundation is often an indication of drainage problem on the exterior.
  2. Ground Settlement: As water continues to be absorbed in a concentrated location, the ground begins to settle.  With no support from the ground, cracks will develop in the foundation and building structure.
  3. Termites and Wood Destroying Organisms (WDOs): Subterranean termites love consistently moist ground and need water to build mud tubes.  With the right wet conditions, a subterranean termite nest can develop underground and infest the building structure.


Divert the water away from the building and property.
  1. Sloping surrounding surfaces away from the building. Current building code requires the surface grade to be sloped 6” inches away from the building within the first 10’ feet (5% slope).  Impervious surfaces, like concrete walkways within 10 feet of the building should also be sloped away from the building at a minimum of 1/4” per 10 feet (2% slope).  (CA Code R401.3)
  2. Extend downspouts 4 to 6 feet away from the building.
  3. Installing French Drains and or underground storm water system.