How to Keep Water from Damaging the Foundation of Your Home

Rainwater that doesn’t drain away from your foundation can cause moisture problems in basements and crawlspaces. To keep this from happening, check to see that the ground slopes away from the foundation of your home at least 6 inches over a distance of 10 feet.

Adding an extension on the bottom of gutter downspouts is another way to direct water away from the foundation. Also, make sure borders on flower beds have openings to allow rainwater to drain away from the house.


  1. Where the main water line comes into the house, during the hard rains this year in Georgia, water is seeping in around where the copper pipe comes into the cement wall (about 6 feet down …we had to dig it out when we had blue poly pipe that had to be replaced.) Any way to keep this from happening??

    Thanks!! We love your show!!!!

  2. My house sets at the bottom of a little hill on our street. An when it rain our yard catch all the rain coming of the hill, an we have standing water in our yard. What can we do to stop the water from coming of the hill into our yard

    • Hi Via,
      Your best bet would be to grade your yard or create a small depression near your property line so the water is diverted away from your house long before it reaches it.

  3. We have a house on a cement slab, no basement or crawl space. We had gardens installed with walls about 14 inches high and were going to fill them in with dirt. I know we need to slope the dirt away but our landscaper also said we need to put a plastic liner down against the house before filling with dirt. What do you think?

  4. I have noticed several cracks on the floor and our ceiling. This cracks are more evident this past year. The hous is 13 1/2 yrs old. No basement on cement foundation.Our subdivion has always had problems with flooding/drainage. the city has tried several times to correct this issue. Our house is in the corner of where all the rainwater that does not drain collects. Can the city be held responsible for the structural damage I am having and if so how do I go about taking care of the matter. Thanks

  5. I have a neighbor who’s trying to grow grass in his backyard. They water everyday for hours. The side of my house has standing water from 4-8″constantly. My husband has tried to speak to them about this and has been met with resistance. I called the city where I live and was told there isn’t any laws or codes about watering your lawn. They were no help at all. We explained to them about damage to our fence and foundation. Then they got mad and when my husband went out of town, his father-inlaw, cussed me out and threatened me and said they would drown our property. What can I do? I’ve got an autoimmune disease and West Nile Virus is a problem where we live! Any advice on how to handle this situation would be greatly appreciated!

  6. Danny, my neighbors lawn is low and floods my backyard whenever there is rain, can I build a retaining wall or flood wall of sorts to keep the bulk of the water in their yard? Thx

  7. Love to receive your news letter on the how too videos my house is 87 years old and needs extensive foundation repair ,planning on sealing it from the outside first then repairing the damage on the interior.

  8. Near my house there is a plot which get completely filled with water in rainy season. What should i do to protect my foundation from damage?

  9. recently installed the BAT found at to stop the water from overshooting the gutters during heavy rain. They are cheap easy to install with no screws nails or staples. I cant even see them on my roof. Pretty cool and work really well.

  10. Hi Dan, I pretty handy all around the house! But this has me! I get water in the basement only when it rains very hard for couple days or for a week long!! I live in central PA.. I have a 1991 two story house with brick garage! It sits on two acre mostly level !
    The ground around the house does sit’s up on ground and sloops away to the end of the house part.. they did put a French drain around the house and a drain in the basement floor and goes out in to yard comes out way down the yard! There’s no crack’s in the walls and floor!
    The water comes up at the seam of the floor and walls meet! There’s no mildew, the basement is well kept! I had a top waterproof company guy come in suggested this and it made sense! He said water under the floor coming up! Funny thing is , I just needed a estimate and what was going on! This guy was high pressure salesman and started filling papers out.. I said wait a minute!! So, what do you suggest I do and save money at the same time! Thank very much, Mr. Herb Goss

    • Hi, Herb,
      Here’s “Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford’s answer to your question:
      “The first step is to make sure no water is “ponding” against the house during the heavy rains. If you have downspouts, make sure they are diverting the water safely away from the house. As far as a waterproofer for the inside of the basement, I would recommend a UGL product called DryLok. It has worked well for me in a number of situations like this.”
      Thanks for your question!

  11. When I bought this house it had been built 2 or 3 years and I was the first to live in it. Was not informed it had rain water come from the lot across the road through a pipe under the street,it runs across my yard across the driveway down the side of my house to two pipes in the back under the ground across the street ,to a water holding lot. I never saw any pipes until I had already moved in. What are my opptions.

    • Hi, Carolyn,
      Here’s “Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford’s answer to your question:

      “Without visiting your area, it would be hard to say exactly the best drainage method, but it may involve strategically placed surface drains, a possible channel drain or even a French drain. I would recommend talking to a landscaper who routinely solves drainage problems.”

      Thanks for your question.

  12. When my backyard floods water comes into the house from either the wall or the floor. There are no visible cracks or holes on the outside of the house. It may be the foundation of the house the house is 20yrs old.
    Is there an easy way to check any of this? What professionals would be able to help me with this?

    Thank you.

    • Hi, Dan,
      Danny says, “I would start with talking to a landscape contractor to advise you on improving the drainage in your yard to prevent water from forcing its way into the home. This may be as simple as minor grading of your yard or placing more dirt against the house to prevent the water intrusion.
      Good luck!”

  13. There is a drainage easement 10 feet wide next to my house. My house is a raised rambler so my living space is upstair. Recently farm land was sold to developer across the street. Mounds of dirt were created and water is being forced into that easement. Problem is there is barely 15 feet all together between my house and a stone fence that sits on a high bank where this water runs. I never had water in the easement higher than 4 inches high 12 inches wide in 14 years of my living here and only three or four times a year did it happen. Now water is over flowing the 10 foot wide easement and has been video taped hitting the corner of my house during a heavy rain. Question is: How safe is my foundation with this rapidly running water flowing that close. I can send you a video of water which is brown running across my back yard 30 feet wide where there is no easement and between the fence and house. This has been happening for almost a year. What distance should there be between running water and a foundation?

  14. I have a property was built so a wheel chair could get into the door. now when it rains heavy water get into the door and floor. What can i do to stop this from happening

  15. I have a neighbor who is relatively close to me, that has his spouting turned towards my house and refuses to divert it to the woods in the back of the house. I live in Ohio and would like to know if this is legal. During heavy rains, it pours out of his spouting and flows straight to my yard, since it is faced that way. The land slopes towards me. He insists since I have a little rise by my garage, it would stop the water when it gets there!

  16. My neighbors yard behind me is about 20 ft lower than ours. There is a vertical cinder block fence separating our yards. Unfortunately, water (from our irrigation system) is leaching through the wall about 3-4 feet below our ground level. It’s not large amounts of water, but I am worried that over time this will cause damage enough resulting in an expensive repair. I am wondering if there are any strategies you’d recommend for encouraging water to seep away from the fence? I am thinking about building a berm network, but want to be sure this will make a difference.

    • Hi, Judy!
      We can’t answer all the questions we receive, due to the high volume, but we sure do our best.
      Selected questions receive a moderator’s answer, as the comments form states. 🙂
      Thanks for visiting!

  17. I have a house built in 1968 that has a basement. The basement stays dry however, in a basement bedroom there is a utility closet with the hot water heater and water controls for the outdoor spicket. The spicket has been leaking and I have some mold and rot on the door frame of the closet. I know I need to replace the spicket but I though a pre-fab french drain might be useful. When I started to dig for it, I ran into concrete. WHY WOULD THE CONCRETE EXTEND ABOUT 3 FEET BEYOND THE FOUNDATION?

    • That’s a good question, Deb, and there’s really no telling.
      If possible, sometimes you just have to contact the home’s builder to find out why they did what they did.
      Good luck! 🙂

      • So true! It sounds impossible, but we did that with our home and were just amazed by all the answers. It’s good to not just have questions, but also seek answers. “Be in the know” as they say.

  18. Every time that it rains the water runs down from the front (or should i say the top of the yard and rest on the sidewalk. What can i do? Would building a wall in front of the sidewalk prevent this problem. Help.

    • Hi, Calpernia,
      Thanks for your question! It’s kind of hard to visualize this yard, so we would need more information. Where is the sidewalk in relation to your home and yard? Please be as descriptive as possible and use terms like ‘left,’ ‘right,’ ‘above,’ ‘below,’ etc. That’ll help illustrate your setup. 🙂

  19. Hi. We have a 2/3inch fall on the drive down to the front of the house. To stop the water running through into the garage , can we put a french drain right against the front wall of the house.

  20. Hello,
    I just had a builder build my new home on a crawl space. It’s sits in the middle of 9 1/2 acres in Georgia. We recently moved in and the first hard rain we noticed standing water in the front yard and up against the house and under both porches (Front/Back). We did install a pump in the crawl space. But still don’t believe that standing water around the house is healthy. What else can we do?


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