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Rain, Rain Go Away.....But Not For Too Long

               Most of the time I am surprised by Vince Condella’s almost nightly, quirky weather facts.  The other night, however, I was not at all surprised when Vince informed all of his loyal followers that this has been the all time wettest winter/spring on record in southeastern Wisconsin (thanks again Vince for the great web link!).  The National Weather Service has recorded 15.19 inches of precipitation from 1/1/2013 through 4/24/2013.  When you convert this to gallons it turns out to be 208,541,174,959 gallons of water when you consider the combined area of Waukesha and Milwaukee counties……….holy smokes that’s a lot of H2O!

                Luckily, I can report no water related damage at my home, but over the past couple of months we have had many clients that have been forced to deal with water issues.  Problems have ranged from water in the basement to ponding in the yard.  Since I am fortunate enough to be writing a blog, I thought I would take this opportunity to suggest a few helpful hints that will protect your home and property from our next deluge.

1.)    Clean gutters and downspouts multiple times a year – keeping the gutters and downspouts clean will prevent rainwater from overflowing the gutters and splashing next to the home’s foundation. 

2.)    Make sure you have positive pitch away from your home – this will ensure that any water that falls next to the house will flow away from the foundation.

3.)    This is a no brainer – Check to make sure your sump pump is working properly multiple times a year - This will ensure that water discharging into the sump crock (from your home’s drainage system) will be evacuated and won’t back up into the basement.

4.)    If you have yard drains or catch basins, check them often during the year to make sure that they are clear of debris - This will ensure that excessive water will not pool in your yard or back up against the foundation.

5.)    If your yard is fairly flat and drains slowly, consider a dry well or French drain - Dry wells and French drains are underground gravel basins that can hold large amounts of rainwater.  Yard drains can also be incorporated into these systems.  I would highly suggest consulting a professional if you think this option may be a possibility for your situation.  Factors such as soil type, water capacity, etc. are key components that must be evaluated properly.

6.)    Collect and reuse – Instead of considering water the enemy, you can embrace it and collect it for future use.  Rain barrels are great for use in the garden.  They are fairly inexpensive and easy to install.  Underground storage systems can also be considered, but here too I would consult a professional to make sure it is the best option for you.

Even though the recent rain and snow seemed to go on and on and may have caused a little trouble, it really was, in the whole scheme of things, a welcome sight considering the drought of last year.  Our lawns and plants will be very happy for months to come.  So you can hold off rain……but not for too long!

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