If you live in the Kansas City area, you know we’ve been bombarded by heavy rains throughout the month of May. With more than 11 inches recorded already and a couple of days to go, many homeowners are noticing puddles in the yard, flower beds that appear to be drowning, even ruts or gulleys in the landscape where rain doesn’t drain properly. To sum it all up, heavy rainfall over a long period of time can leave your landscape a mess – but what about the damage drainage issues can cause to the rest of your home?

When water doesn’t drain properly, it can cause substantial (and costly) damage to your home, including its foundation, attic, even the basement walls. As drainage professionals, we want to share with homeowners the signs that could indicate you have Kansas City drainage problems. Here are the symptoms you should actively look for:

Spalling or efflorescence on basement walls. Spalling occurs when the wall flakes off in large patches; efflorescence is a condition in which mineral deposits are left behind by evaporating water, resulting in gray or white crusty looking areas on the walls. Depending on the severity, spalling could indicate drainage issues that threaten the integrity of your foundation.

Foundation cracks. While minor or small cracks are usually nothing to worry about, large cracks that are wider than 1/8 inch should be noted – if they continue to widen, you may have foundation issues. Settling can result in minor cracks and are not usually serious, but those that grow ARE serious.

Basement water stains. Water stains in the basement may be caused by water traveling underground, or by surface water. Inadequate sloping of the soil around the foundation of your home or an overflowing gutter can cause water stains usually located high on the foundation wall. If the water stain extends in a line around your basement, it could be caused by a number of things, such as your basement floor lying below the level of municipal storm drains which often back up when it rains heavily, or a fluctuating water table. Either way, a sump pump and drain system will take care of the problem, keeping your basement dry.

Downspouts dumping water too close to the foundation of your home. When a downspout dumps hundreds of gallons of water right at the foundation or corner of your home, the water can run directly into the basement. A simple solution is to add gutter extensions so that water is carried further from your home’s foundation.

Blocked gutters that gush. When your home’s gutters are full of leaves, pine needles, and other debris, water can’t flow freely – and it ends up going over the edge, which could potentially ruin your siding or cause the paint to peel off of your home. Even if you aren’t standing outside in a downpour to see for yourself that the gutters are gushing, there are tell-tale signs such as vertical streaks of dirt on gutters or mud splattered on the siding. Clean out the gutters, or pay a professional to do it for you.

At IDL Company, we know the damage that excess water can cause when a property doesn’t drain properly. If you’re a Kansas City homeowner who has noticed one or more of the above signs of improper yard drainage, give us a call today! We offer a wide array of customized drainage solutions.