Tip #150: High and Dry
If your property has a basement or crawlspace, flooding can cause physical damage and harmful mold that can take forever to eradicate.
Here are some steps that can stave off unwanted water:
Make sure the dirt around the structure is graded in the property direction — away from the walls. Over time, rainwater, ice or snow can beat down a trench along the perimeter that is hard to see until the water starts to meander into the basement. Check periodically to make sure the grade is higher around the building, then levels out into the yard, pulling water away.
Remove shrubs and trees that are very close to the outside of the walls. Chances are, water is pooling around these roots, and eventually making it’s way toward the basement or crawlspace.
Consider installing a French drain — a small ditch that pulls water flow out of low-lying areas. The ditch can be covered with pea gravel or very small stone — larger rocks may actually dam up the trench and hold water close to the exterior walls.
Rain barrels can be tied in to downspouts to collect any sudden barrage of water from a cloudburst. Be careful, though. Some states – notably Colorado, Utah and Washington, have laws restricting the collection of rain water. Also, there are health codes that prohibit pooled water or rainwater diverted to household uses. Often, private residences are exempt, but check it out before you go there.
See last weeks Landlord Quick Tip.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.