Building Site Maintenance

Ensure driveways, walkways and patios surfaces are not sloping toward the home or garage unless they have a drain that directs water away from the structures. Ensure any drains provided are running freely and the surfaces are properly sloping toward the drain.

Repair any uneven surfaces that could be tripping hazards. Seal any cracks. Caulk or seal where concrete or asphalt surfaces meet the foundation.

Check for water pooling near the home several hours after heavy rainfall. Check for moss around the yard particularly on the north side. Check for low spots or holes where water could pool. Moss or water pooling could be evidence of a site drainage problem.

Ensure the grade of land is sloping away from the home and that water is not pooling near the foundation, particularly if the foundation has cracks that could allow water to enter. Ensure there is at least six to eight inches of clearance between the finish grade and wood frame members. Checking at least twice a year. Ensure splash pads are used for downspouts that discharge above grade to help prevent soil erosion.

Check for signs of soil erosion particularly where there is bare soil. Consider planting grass to prevent soil erosion (steep slopes need other means to contain soils). Cut and maintain the grass as needed.

Check retaining walls for decay, damage, leaning or missing areas. Do repairs as needed.

Check for weeping holes in retaining walls. Consider adding additional weeping holes, if a drainage problem is suspected, to help drain ground water away from retaining walls or provide drain tile And drainage rock at the bottom of retaining walls to direct water away from the retaining wall and home. Wood retaining walls usually do not need weep holes.

Check for trees or shrubs contacting the home. Trim trees or shrubs from contacting the home. Remove vines contacting the home. Ideally there should be one to two feet clearance between branches, trees or shrubs and the home. Branches should not overhang the roof.

Check for decayed or damaged branches and remove as needed. Check trees and shrubs if contacting the house or overhanging the roof. Trim back as needed.

Check fence footings and foundations for damage, leaning or missing areas.

Check fences for decay, rust, damage or missing areas. The fence should be checked to ensure plumb and secure. Check for loose, peeled or blistered paint.

Check for signs of insects around home. To reduce the risk of insect related problems, remove wood and stumps close to the home.

Check the perimeter drains to ensure they are running freely and sloped to direct water away from the home. Consider running a garden hose through drains to test. Repair or replace drain tiles as needed. Make sure water is not entering the basement or crawl space.

Check the drains for windows below grade (window wells) and doors below grade to ensure they are running freely and sloped to direct water away from the home. Consider running a garden hose through to test the drains. Make sure water is not entering the basement or crawl space.

Check the sump pump for excessive noise and correct operation. Check the sump pit for damaged or missing areas. Consider putting water in the pit to test the operation of the pump. Check the discharge pipe for leaks.