Water, water, and water – the three most damaging elements to a home. Water at or below ground level leaks in moves under, and pushes through to damage your home.

It is vital to keep water away from your foundation. That’s true whether your home is built on a slab or has crawl spaces or a full-depth foundation. Water can cause cracks, heaving, leaks, and structural movement.

What can you do? Keep rainwater and other surface water away from your foundation. Make sure the surface is graded, so water drains away. In most cases, you can use gutters and downspouts to direct rain away from the foundation.

Visually inspect your home for problems. It’s even a good idea to walk around your home during heavy rain to check that surface water is flowing away from the house.

A very common problem is gutter downspout extensions that have an improper slope or no slope; they don’t let water drain away. You can solve this problem by raising the elbow on the vertical section. You’ll need a tin snip or hacksaw and a screwdriver. Remove the elbow, use the tin snips or hacksaw to cut a few inches off the vertical section, and re-install the elbow. Secure it with a few short screws. You may need to drill pilot holes for the screws — simple fix – significant results.