Spalling concrete cannot be patched with concrete because the new will not bond with the old. Water will freeze between the two layers, or the concrete will break up from movement or wear. Replacement of the damaged section is recommended. Walks or driveways that are close to the property should be properly pitched away to direct water away from the foundation. Asphalt driveways should be kept sealed and larger cracks filled so as to prevent damage from frost.
Patios that have settled towards the structure should be mudjacked or replaced to assure proper pitch.
Improperly pitched patios are one source of wet basements/crawlspaces.
EXTERIOR WOOD SURFACES
All surfaces of untreated wood need regular applications of paint or special chemicals to resist damage.
Porch or deck columns and fence posts which are buried in the ground and made of untreated wood will become damaged within a year or two.
Decks should always be nailed with galvanized, stainless steel or aluminum nails. Decks that are not painted or stained should be treated with a water sealer.
GRADING AND DRAINAGE
Any system of grading or landscaping that creates positive drainage (moving water away from the foundation walls) will help to keep a basement and crawlspace dry. Where negative grade exists and additional backfill is suggested, it may require digging out around the property to get a proper pitch. Dirt shall be approximately 6" below the bottom sill and should not touch wood surfaces.Flower beds, loose mulched areas, railroad ties and other such landscaping items close to the foundation trap moisture and contribute to wet basements. To establish a positive grade, a proper slope away from the house is 1" per foot for approximately 5-6 feet. Recommend ground cover planting or grass up to foundation.
ROOF AND SURFACE WATER CONTROL
Roof and surface water must be controlled to maintain a dry basement and crawlspace. This means keeping gutters cleaned out and aligned, extending downspouts, installing splashblocks, and building up the grade so that roof and surface water is diverted away from the building.
The amount of water which enters a window well from falling rain is generally slight, but water will accumulate in window wells if the yard is improperly graded. Plastic window well covers are useful in keeping out leaves and debris.
Retaining walls deteriorate because of excessive pressure buildup behind them, generally due to water accumulation. Conditions can often be improved by excavating a trench behind the retaining wall and filling it with coarse gravel. Drain holes through the wall will then be able to relieve the water pressure.Retaining walls sometime suffer from tree root pressure or from general movement of topsoil down the slope. Normally, these conditions require rebuilding the retaining wall.
It is recommended that railings be installed for any stairway over 3 steps and porches over 30" for safety reasons. Balusters for porches, balconies, and stairs should be close enough to assure children cannot squeeze through.
SATISFACTORY (Sat.) - Indicates the component is functionally consistent with its original purpose but may show signs of normal wear and tear and deterioration. MARGINAL (Marg.) - Indicates the component will probably require repair or replacement anytime within five years. POOR - Indicates the component will need repair or replacement now or in the very near future.