It is always great to arrive at a house and find one specific area that is causing all the problems with a foundation. It is like showing up and discovering a large, blinking, neon arrow that points to where you need to fix something. Of course this has never happened, but occasionally the fix is pretty straight forward. Spreading epoxy and injecting a small crack on an unfinished basement wall can sometimes be completed in less than two hours. And then there are the others.

I inspected a home a few weeks ago that had basement walls that were a little crumbly in places as if they had been wet for a long time. The homeowner wanted the cracks injected but it was pretty obvious that there were bigger issues outside. The yard next door was for some reason about three feet higher than his, and it was only about eight feet away. The gutters emptied out right on his yard about three feet from his foundation. There was a low spot against his house and really nowhere for the water to go.

On the other side of his house the downspout for the gutter emptied out in to another low spot against the house. Yikes! It seemed that the previous owners were trying to find out how much water they could direct to the foundation walls. And finally we found that the shingles and deck from the most recent roof replacement went “over” the gutter. Yes, the water was passing right over the gutters and a small pond was being created along the upper side of the home.

The gutters have now been connected to pipes that will carry the water away from the house. A French drain has been installed to collect the water from the neighbor’s yard, and dirt has filled the low spots along the foundation. In a few days, a gutter crew will work their magic so the roof water goes in the gutters rather than over them. We are looking forward to the next rain to see how well we have protected the concrete foundation. With any luck the walls dry out and we can finish the project by injecting the cracks. It might have been simpler to do this first. But in the end I stand by my work, and in this case it meant putting all the pieces together.