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Add gutter drainage

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An improved drainage system is a good first step to rectifying water damage.

Ask any home inspector or realtor about what’s a turn off to home buyers when scouting a house to buy, and they’ll probably tell you any signs of neglect by the current owner. Water damage is a big one. The problem is often caused by water pooling around the foundation due to poor gutter drainage and that excess moisture can lead to a wet basement and damage to the foundation.

An improved drainage system is a good first step in solving the problem and avoiding rainwater runoff that can also damage lawns and landscaping. First, look at the gutters and downspouts and remove the debris so water can flow through them. When it rains, use binoculars to look for holes in gutters and downspouts. Repair them to prevent leakage. If there’s no downspout extension to carry the water away from the house, add one. But if those tactics don’t work, an underground drainage system is the solution to permanently carry water away from the foundation.

To install a drainage system designed to get the rainwater away from your foundation a contractor will charge $364, which includes labor and material. You can dig a trench, bury 16 feet of drainage pipe, install all the components and buy the materials for $165, do it yourself and save 55%.

The components include downspout adapters, corrugated drainage pipes, grates and basins that are connected together. The job involves digging the trench at the base of the downspouts, cutting and fitting together the drainpipes and connectors, and fastening them to the bottom of the downspout.

You’ll need a shovel to dig the trench and a carpenter’s level to make sure the drainage pipe is sloping away from the foundation. Fill in the soil and smooth the surface with a rake. Cover the soil with seed and mulch and wait for the next heavy rainfall to test the results.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.

Pro Cost — DIY Cost — Pro time — DIY Time — DIY Savings — Percent Saved

$364 — $165 — 3.2 — 4.5 — $199 — 55%

Omaha World-Herald: Inspired Living

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