I decided to repost this blog post because we have been getting intense downpours this summer, 2023, and it is time to remind people of this important homeowner task.
Clean your gutters and drain pipes!
Watch the video below that a client in Falls Church sent me one night as he panicked when seeing water stream into his window well. Caller ID showed me it was him, so I picked up late Sunday night… I’ll finish the story after you see the video.
Last Sunday I spent the afternoon showing homes to some clients in Centreville while it rained really hard… all afternoon. We saw plenty of backyards resembling small ponds and gutter downspouts shooting water right next to a home’s foundation. And, this morning, one of my Vienna, VA neighbors told me about the water in his basement after last night’s inch of rain.
A few years ago a friend told me that, in a total panic, she called the Wet Basement Guys during a hurricane because water was seeping into her basement.
They asked her: “do you have extensions on your downspouts?”
“No” she responded.
It’s not Seattle, it’s Vienna, VA
You see, the Wet Basement Guys were so insanely busy that they were giving away an insider secret when it comes to keeping rainwater out of your house. It was the fact that those ugly black tubes really do work when placed properly at your downspouts sloping downhill (gravity will help you) and extended away from your home will solve most rainwater problems.
Last weekend’s rain set a record at Dulles Airport, and the rain forecast for today may add another 3″ of rain to the swollen ground. A week like this can cause a dry basement to get wet for the first time, and once water finds an easy path to follow then the basement will get wet again.
Ignore your downspouts and you’ll pay the price!
When it isn’t raining, consider designing a rainwater management system that will benefit your lawn or garden.
Next time you are at Home Depot take a look at the NDS Drainage tools that they sell. They have simple pop-up drains and ideas to help you bury these black pipes so you are protected from sudden downpours and doing your part to limit runoff. Think of it as a Green Idea.
Home inspectors always look at the grade around your home, and if they do not see a slope away from the structure will recommend adding soil (not mulch) for added protection.
Before you get your next heavy rain, plan to add some simple downspout extensions to move the water away from your house.
Are your black drainpipes draining or are they clogged?
It was Sunday night and it was pouring rain again. It was a tropical downpour.
We had met friends for dinner at La Côte D’Or Café and experienced the summer deluge firsthand. The dinner was good, but the drive home was treacherous with rivers instead of streets from Falls Church to Vienna.
My phone rang around 11:00, and Aaron asked me if I knew a plumber. It was an emergency.
He told me that he had a problem with his sump pump and I asked him to send me a video of the situation.
He was a few minutes from having a flooded basement, and no plumber was going to be able to help him in the limited time he had to take action.
I told him to find where the black drainpipe exited because it was obviously (to me) clogged. With me on the line, I had him locate the green pop up which was covered in mulch. I told him to pull the green plug up and off.
Water shot out of it immediately breaking the dam and saving his basement.
SO, One last thing every homeowner needs to take care of today.
If you already have drainpipes in your yard, then take a look (in the daylight) at where they are draining. To an open area? Too often I see these pipes buried under dirt or a pile of mulch thanks to your landscaper or lawn guys.
When I can’t find an exit or end of a drainpipe, I often pour a watering can of water to see where it shows up. If you can’t find that water then you may have to replace the entire pipe.