The end of October means a lot of things for people living in British Columbia’s lower mainland.

  • the winter rain is here to stay
  • little ghosts and goblins will soon be out and about
  • the holiday spending season is right around the corner

Only two of these challenges will have a direct impact on your wallet, unless you go completely overboard spending money on Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters like some of us do. 

No, the real issues are surging water flow seeping throughout your yard in close proximity to your foundation. That and the fact you’re not going to have a lot of extra spending money in the next two months. A cracked or damaged foundation is a scary image, but fortunately it’s a preventable one. 

Here at Perimeter, we’re all about prevention. Here are four enemies of your foundation that will jump out of nowhere to terrify your holiday budget if you’re not prepared. 

1. Minerals & Sediment

“Moisture plays a key role in the weathering of rock, eventually transforming solid rock into small particles. When water vapor in the atmosphere condenses and falls on rocks in the form of precipitation, mineral particles within the rock are mechanically dislodged and then carried away by the liquid water.”

That’s a quote from an excellent and thorough article called Yard Drainage: Moisture Control in Foundation Repair.

For home-owners in North Vancouver, we know all too well the effects of water rushing down an incline. It absorbs particles and clogs our municipality’s drainage system. 

The answer? 

  • Water-absorbent plants
  • Natural or hand-made swales and berms
  • Well-planned water distribution systems like gutters and man-made ditches

2. Rotting Roots

Imagine creeping through a dark and tangled forest in search of a way out. Well, this is what it looks like underground when plants die and decay. Instead of being absorbed and used for growth, flowing subterranean water encounters dead roots and it might as well be crashing against impenetrable rocks. These roots redirect water flow which can have devastating affects on your foundation, especially if you don’t notice the problem soon enough.  

The problem is that drought isn’t the only killer of underground roots. Water-logged roots can die as well from infectious fungi damaging their system, resulting in further plant-life sediment being carried away and preventing the flow of water away from your basement. 

3. Grading Issues

It’s one of the easiest elements to fix, but when developers cut costs during construction, it’s always the home owner who ends up paying for it. 

Look, your foundation will live a long and healthy life supporting your home provided it’s dry and free of contaminants. A little water isn’t so scary once or twice, but nothing can have a larger destructive result that a poor grading installation that diverts flow back through the ground and toward your basement every single winter. 

Whether your house is new or old, grading issues are well within your control. Slight grades are modified over the years because of the unrelenting Vancouver winters, so make sure to schedule regular checks. 

4. Clogged Gutters

Another issue that’s well within your control is clogged gutters. Leaves and needles are blown off trees at an alarming rate this time of year, and all it takes is one quick surge of stormwater to ram against a blockade of muddy sludge, and all of a sudden that flow is running down the side of your house or back into your yard’s personal water table. 

Clean your gutters regularly or make your teenager do it in return for an allowance of Halloween candy. 

You could also install drain guards to keep all the leaves and sediment out of your gutters. Check out KR gutters for a couple inexpensive solutions. 

For a home owner, there’s nothing scarier than the unknown when it comes to the health of your basement. The foundation of our homes are sight unseen so we don’t think twice about it until there’s a gigantic (and expensive) problem. 

And that’s the scariest monster of all.