Poor Drainage can allow Water leaks into your Home

Does your home have a drainage problem? You may know it has but you don’t associate it with leaking into your home. Water sitting along a slab edge can wick water into the concrete and water into the sills. Wet sills then share water with wall studs and insulation and you have all the ingredients for rotting wood problems and an infestation of mold.

Could you have a drainage problem and not even know it?

Water lying against your slab, raised flower beds against your house, or thoughts in your head for such, a home with sloping ground around you… maybe you better check this page out.

How does a wall get wet with water sitting up against a concrete foundation or slab? Well, I called it wicking, but if you want a more technical term, capillarity. It is capillarity suction which allows trees to reach towards the theoretical limits of 400 feet tall and keep all parts of the tree well-watered.

If water sits against a foundation, or sits in water saturated soil, the concrete pores will fill with water, any sill board touching the slab will then wick in water and studs sitting on the sill will wick water into the wall. Sheathing, especially engineered wood like OSB- oriented strand board is quite susceptible to moisture and mold and rot love OSB. Drainage issues along slabs are a problem developing and ready to bloom into mold flowers.

Mold that makes people sick and makes the house smell musty. It can also cause you to have a cold section of a wall in winter or a hot spot against a wall in summer. The water has wicked into the wall and wet the insulation and so the wall is poorly insulated.

Caveat: This kind of leak and heat loss can also be caused by a leaking wall. So this can be a tricky solution. But a drainage problem needs to be dealt with even if the wall siding has porosity and might be a major contributor to a wet wall. We talk about water leaks through walls here.

Let’s look around inside the house for evidence of water damage due to a drainage problem, and it could be be the wall leaking…

We are looking for signs of water damage. Wet spots or stains on walls resting on the foundation. Water or mold or staining along baseboards or dampness in sunken living floors is evidence of a drainage problem. Carpets and padding can camouflage wet spots in slaps so use your nose, If you rely on air fresheners, you have an IAQ problem and it just might be caused by a wet walls or a wet slab under your carpet.

Cupped or warped wood floors can be evidence of a water issue and need to be investigated.

Spotting a fungus on a baseboard is a sure sign of a serious problem. You get to solve more than a drainage problem when the mold and fungus show up. That is an excellent reason to solve drainage issues before there are any signs of issues indoors. Indoor signs of damage are latter stage effects of water damage and signify future damage to the wallet.

You do have to negotiate two approaches to a wet wall issue. Water might come right through the wall. We deal with those issues here.  We will talk some more about drainage and related issues and then delve into solutions.

Drainage Issues can Damage your Foundation.

Texas clayish soils expand when wet and shrink when dry. Drainage issues can therefore impact areas of your foundation severely. More on this topic here.

Any questions or any thoughts to add, please do below.


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