In our part of the world, we wait anxiously for the first signs of spring and the joyful thaw that comes with it. Snow melts, the ground thaws, and April showers mean puddles everywhere. All the moisture that spring brings with it can make any drainage problems on your property suddenly seem obvious.
Pooling water in your yard or driveway can indicate a problem with grading. Your yard should slope away from your home and drain water out toward the streets and sewers. Five degrees is the ideal slope, very slight to the naked eye, but enough to move water away from your foundation and the foundation of your neighbours' homes, as well.
Drainage problems aren't just unsightly. Your home's foundation is not designed to be exposed to extended periods of extreme moisture. If water pools near your home it can leak into the basement and, in the longer term, undermine your foundation. This, in turn, can lead to expensive problems in your home's interior, such as water damage, mold, and poor air quality. These represent time-consuming and costly interior repairs that could be avoided with vigilance and care to your home's exterior.
Grading should be taken into consideration before you make any major additions to your home's exterior. Adding a garden, pool, deck, walkway, fence or patio - even planting a tree - can change the grading of your property and affect drainage for you and your immediate neighbours. Keep any eye out during the coming shoulder-season. Warming temperatures and sunshine are welcomed parts of springtime, but if the thaw brings drainage problems with your attention, deal with them while they are still on the outside of your home. Inside, water damage can be costly and time-consuming to repair.