March 1995 Edition

Heavy Rains Causing Problems?

During heavy rains, we are having a problem with water seeping into our basement. What should we do first? Call a waterproofing contractor?
Many people have called us with the same problem and since this is becoming a common issue, we will try to explain some simple fixes you could try first, before calling a professional.
According to the American Society Of Home Inspectors, (ASHI),  the single most important thing to do is to get the rain water away from the house and the foundation walls.
If you do not already have gutters and downspouts, install them. This will prevent the large concentration of water from running off the roof right down beside the foundation. If you already have gutters, make sure they are kept clean and the downspouts are clear from debris that could cause blockage.
Another problem could be that the water from the downspouts is not running away from the structure and is soaking into the ground at the foundation.
Either add splash blocks or drain pipes to carry the water far enough away so that it can run off naturally to a lower area. If your lot is very flat you may have to install a dry well (a large hole below the ground filled with gravel) or in severe cases, a sump pump that will pump the water to a storm sewer.



Some of the builders around Atlanta still do not understand that the ground around the foundation must slope away from the structure at a rate of 1/2” per foot for a minimum of six feet and be compacted to prevent water from soaking down along the foundation wall. This is a current Cabo 1 & 2 Family Code requirement. If the lot is very flat, the main floor should be raised high enough to accomplish this. It is no longer acceptable for the grading to slope towards the structure or for the grading to be perfectly flat around the house. If your foundation is high enough, you might want to remove any soft soil or porous materials such as wood chips or mulch and add dense soil around the foundation that can be compacted firm enough to insure that the ground will shed water away from the foundation wall.
If this causes a problem for foundation vents or basement windows being below the finished grade line, you may need to add window wells around the openings that are at least 4” higher than the finished grade.
If you have an exterior stair or cellar door, be sure to keep the leaves and debris cleaned out and the floor drains open. If the areas do not have drains, think about covering them with a shed roof to prevent the water from entering the areas or possibly installing a sump pump to remove the water.
You may also try working on the interior spaces. Seal the cracks in the foundation walls and at the floor slab with a caulking or sealant that is designed to be used on concrete. If the walls are concrete block, try applying an interior waterproofer to the walls.
If these suggestions do not work and you end up calling a professional waterproofing contractor, remember that there are many different solutions to waterproofing problems. Be sure to get more than one opinion and select a contractor carefully. Some will offer an interior solution and some will offer an exterior one. Always ask for references and check with the Better Business Bureau at 688-4910.

You Spoke, We Listened.

The response to sending Home Tips to your clients has been very good. We have also listened to your request for less advertising and more space for your own personal messages. Beginning with the March issue, we will provide the bottom section entirely for your use.
So, when you request Home Tips, please specify whether you want just an area for your business card or an area for your own messages. Either will be available. The cost is still $10.00 per issue and you can order every month, every other month, every fourth month, or any way you wish. 
 Home Tips

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote of the Month

“There’s no thrill in easy sailing when the skies are clear and blue; There’s no joy in merely doing things which any one can do. But there is some satisfaction that is mighty sweet to take, when you reach a destination that you thought you’d never make.”

- Spirella

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Joycelyn King

Century21/Yancy D. Powell Associates

College Park, Georgia

**** Thank You****