Annually, Alberta receives approximately 355 mm (14˝) of rain between May to October. That means your home receives approximately 144,800 litres of water a year, enough to fill 638 bathtubs!
Six mm (1/4˝) of rainfall on the roof of a 2,000 sq. ft home creates 1,200 litres of water.
In addition to the rain, consider the annual spring snowmelt and the water used to maintain your lawn and flowerbeds… that’s a lot of water to manage!
Uncontrolled water can cause significant damage to your home, well beyond the inconvenience of a wet basement. Establishing and maintaining an effective surface water management plan will be well worth your time and effort, as it helps to keep your home safe, and maintain your home warranty coverage.
We’ve outlined five key areas to consider when directing rainwater, snowmelt and sump discharge away from your home and off your property.
Over time, the soil on our lot settles. It is important to fill in these low spots to keep water draining away from your house. If the soil slopes towards your foundation, water can leak into your basement.
We recommend that depressions and settlements are filled as they occur.
Ensure your window wells are kept free of leaves and other debris to ensure water can flow through the drain tile to the weeping tile system.
Window wells provide egress for basement windows and should always be clear of any obstruction. They should be situated above the finished grade in order to divert water away from the well.
If water is not directed away from the foundation, it may collect near your foundation wall, increasing the potential for water penetration into the basement. In the winter, this water can freeze, which may cause frost heave, potentially lifting decks, driveways and sidewalks. Frost heaves can also cause foundation problems.
Eavestrough and downspouts channel water off the roof and away from the foundation wall into drainage swales. These swales direct water off the lot.
Sump systems (sump pump and pit in the basement area) remove water that may accumulate under the basement slab. It is important to not sump systems are not required in all municipalities – it’s recommended you check with your builder to see if your home requires a sump system.
As part of your maintenance program, ensure your sump pump is working. If your sump pump runs continuously, it’s possible the water being pumped out is seeping back down against the foundation wall and is simply being recirculated. To avoid this, ensure there is proper surface grade to direct water away from the foundation.
Installing a discharge hose will also move the water collected in your sump pit farther away from your home.
The placement of your landscaping really matters! Grassy areas and planting beds require drainage slopes to move water away from your home.
When landscaping, it is important not to alter the rough grade of the property, as maintaining the function of the swale is a necessity. The rough grade design typically allows for approximately four inches of topsoil and sod.
With mindful home and yard maintenance and careful planning, protecting your home from potential water damage will save you time and money and keep your investment as good as new.
For more information about managing water on your property, check out the Exterior Elements section of our Care & Maintenance guide.
The content provided in this blog is for general information purposes only and nothing contained herein should be taken or relied upon as legal advice. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information shared on this blog, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies.