If you live in or around metro Kansas City, did you know that we are currently about 10 inches behind our normal rainfall? (OF COURSE, today—the day we post this, we get a downpour!!) When you consider that the normal annual rainfall is 40 inches and that we are over half way thru the year, that is a significant deficit!! Besides watering the plants regularly to avoid heat stress and dehydration, what else is it you should be considering doing to your property during these drought conditions?
There are four key steps you should be taking to make sure your foundation does not get compromised when the inevitable rains eventually do come to metro Kansas City:
1. Get your gutters cleaned out, keep them cleaned out when the leaves fall and make sure they are in good condition. Also make sure that your downspouts are dispersing the water at least 4 feet away from your house and that the path of the water will channel away from the foundation of your house.
2 Now is also a very good time to double-check the grading around your house. Use your vision or lay a large level on the ground next to your foundation perpendicular to the foundation to make certain that you have a positive slope downward away from your house. If there are spots where you do not, it is important to add dirt to those areas so that there is a positive slope away from your foundation.
3. How many times have you been told that it is important to water your foundation during times of drought? Watering your foundation keeps the soil from drying up and pulling away from the foundation, which creates an easy access for water to channel down along the side of your foundation and find its way into your basement. Many of the experts recommend using a soaker hose, laying it adjacent to your foundation and running it at with a fully opened faucet for 15-20 minutes in each side of your house between 3-5 days a week during the worst periods of the drought. Given that we have had near 100 degree temps in metro Kansas City now for over 3 weeks, this recommendation is probably good advice for us all to be following right now. Of course, if you have a sprinkler system that does throw water to the foundation, you are likely okay—presuming it reaches all sides of your foundation.
Here are some interesting links from experts on these topics:
Mizzou Extension Advice on Foundation Watering: http://missourifamilies.org/features/housingarticles/housing1.htm
Video About Watering Foundation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKfmo6Teep0
The Importance of A Positive Grade Away From Your Foundation: https://www.ahit.com/news/proper-grade-slope.htm
Video About Creating Positive Grade Away From Foundation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy0m-G_KV-I
Good Tips on Gutters and Downspouts: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/keep-water-away-from-your-homes-foundation/
Video About Gutters and Downspouts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t05y2iPGbPg
Video About Home Improvement Considerations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENo-V91UmHE