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Advice for a new homeowner.

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  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Michigan
Advice for a new homeowner.
Posted by Straycat1911 on Saturday, March 13, 2021 2:25 PM

Just bought my first house and the inspector recommended cedar bark around the foundation to help with drainage.

I was thinking, wouldn't crushed rock/gravel of some kind be better in terms of durability? 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, March 13, 2021 2:47 PM

It depends on your budget.

At the low end, just sloping the dirt away from the house will do a lot. Also extend your downspouts out at the base as much as practical. Even 6" helps.

Even if the yard is level with the house out for a distance, create a swale by sloping down from the house a couple of feet, by 6" or so, and then slope back up out from the low point.

Bark won't do much, and there's some opinion it might attract termites. i'm not sure about that- they like dirt too.

And once it is under water, then what? The water will pond unless there is a slope under the bark.

If you have a problem where your basement is leaking, you then need to get serious about a trench along the foundation, line it with filter cloth, install a perforated drain pipe (French drain) that slopes from one end to the other and goes somehere downhill from the low end, then fill the trench with gravel.

 

Bill

 

 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, March 13, 2021 3:53 PM

I concur with Bill on all counts. Now the question is, is there a history of water issues with this house? If not, it's just a matter of keeping an eye on things. See how the ground fares with big rain and then work from there. Frankly, if there isn't actually a problem, why spend the money to fix it?

Now, if there is an issue or has been in the past, take a serious look at drainage. I know it's kind of too late now, but when looking at properties to buy, always look at potential drainage issues. Is there anything uphill from you that could flood you out? Is the house at the low point of the property? Are you near any large bodies of water? These are question to be pondered BEFORE buying. The same goes with issues concerning landslide/mudslide/snowslide, wildfire, earthquake, and other potential natural disaster issues.

And then there is the zombie issue too, so get yourself a chainsaw!

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  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Saturday, March 13, 2021 4:11 PM

This is what I do for a living.  Bill is right on about the downs.  Gutters and downspouts are really outdoor plumbing.   Get flex-a-spout that attaches to the elbow at the bottom of the downspout.  Simple and cheap solution to get the water away from the foundation.

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Saturday, March 13, 2021 8:52 PM

I go with Bill and Brian. In one of our previous homes we had a serious problem with termites, so I'm very nervous about the little buggers and now we live in termite hell! Ah well. We have bi-annual termite checks and I don't like any old timber, or timber by-products anywhere near the house, so I would be going gravel. Incidentally, when looking at buying a house, I like to look at properties in winter. This usually shows up water problems best. (We just get rain, no snow). Congratulations on your purchase.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Michigan
Posted by Straycat1911 on Saturday, March 13, 2021 9:36 PM

Dodgy

I go with Bill and Brian. In one of our previous homes we had a serious problem with termites, so I'm very nervous about the little buggers and now we live in termite hell! Ah well. We have bi-annual termite checks and I don't like any old timber, or timber by-products anywhere near the house, so I would be going gravel. Incidentally, when looking at buying a house, I like to look at properties in winter. This usually shows up water problems best. (We just get rain, no snow). Congratulations on your purchase.

 



Thanks, guys.

The house sits on of a hill so drainage isn't a problem and I did look it over as the snow was starting to melt. 
I didn't think about cedar bark attracting termites so that's definitely scratched off the list; the pest inspection came back clean so I'm not gonna push my luck. 
And yes, downspouts are at the top of the list. 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, March 14, 2021 8:54 AM

We have an overhanging deck that needed some fill below other than grass.  We put in wood chips as a safe play area for the grandkids.  It all blew away.  We replaced it with gravel!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Sunday, March 14, 2021 8:34 PM

They usually put wood chips in the planting areas in front of all the homes in our retirement community. The residents are always complaining that the chips blow around and are all over the walks and porches. So, they started replacing all the wood chips with decorative stone chips. So far, no more complaints.

Jim Captain

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  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Monday, March 15, 2021 11:36 AM

I had a wet area behind the house where the ac drains along with two merging roof lines. I ran gutters there and extended the downspout drainage away from the house with those flexible plastic thingies. I also went to Home Depot and got a few bags of med sized river rocks and spread them  to help drainage. I did this a couple of years ago and it worked out just fine.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    December 2020
Posted by TheDemiGod on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 2:31 PM

Installing gutters is the way to go. Your home inspector doesn't know what he's talking about. Cedar? Really? Like you need termites or ants problem on top of that.

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Friday, March 26, 2021 9:49 AM
Some "echo's" here... #1 Slope. This is done with "earth", not woodchips or decorative stone. #2 Gutters, downspouts...getting the runoff away from the foundation. Woodchips are cute and all...but they are just decoration, and are an annual chore. For these, cedar is the way to go, due to its resistance to bugs and rot. They will do nothing for any water issue. Personally, I have very sandy soil with great drainage. Foundation is surrounded with perforated drain tile / pea stone and runs into a sump. Only water issue I ever had was when the sump took a dump. Caught that issue before it was a real issue! In addition, I ran the downspouts into non-perf drain tile (trenched) 15-20' away from the house. The house was here for 15 years already, without em and was just fine...it's worth the effort and fairly small expense for extra bit of "insurance".

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Friday, March 26, 2021 9:57 AM

Living in a fire area, cedar around the house is a no-no.

Thanks,

John

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