When I show up for a home inspection there are certain things that a client always seems to inquire about; “How’s the roof?”, “How’s the furnace and AC?” and another popular one is “How’s the basement look?”. They mean a couple of things with last this question. The want to know if the foundation is good and if things look dry. Sometimes I have to remember that people have a low tolerance for damp basements. I live in Clintonville, OH, the land of swamp basements. In the spring when it rains hard and the ground is still slightly frozen and saturated I can almost kayak from one side of my basement to the other. Now I’m slightly exaggerating but I have named the river that develops and listed it with the USGS to be included on topographical maps. I need to follow my own advice and clear up some issues with my 1923 home and basement that leaks like a submarine with screen doors. I had one great idea which I implemented last summer and will now be the topic of this post.
Rain barrels! Less water going into/onto the ground means less water that can possibly leak into your basement. People do not realize how much rain comes off a roof. A 1,000 sq ft roof with 1″ of rain is 600 gallons of water! Now, a 1,000 sq ft roof is pretty big but still! I mean, you know! So let’s take half of that and now concentrate it all into a drain going down one downspout at the corner of your house. Let’s also say that there is an issue with that downspout (no extension directing water away from your house, extension is disconnected and water goes straight to the ground, break in the underground pipe, you get the idea). You now have 300 gallons of water dumping out at the corner of your home!! Keeping your basement dry with that amount of water is a tough job. Now I’m not advocating neglecting your gutters and just going to rain barrels, but it’s free water there for the taking and we Americans love free stuff! You can water your garden or plants with the stored water when the rain dries up. You can use it to wash your pooch on the front lawn, your pooch gets clean AND the lawn gets some water! Win-win. So last summer I spent a day or two surfing around YouTube gleaning little bits and pieces from other videos which I compiled into my own greatest hits video compilation. I believe that not only is everything very doable for you, my dear reader, but also the parts are accessible. The most difficult thing will be to find the appropriate barrel but if you Google “barrels for rain barrels” or hit up Craigslist you will find options. You really shouldn’t have to pay more than about $10 for an empty 30-50 gallon barrel. Have patience.
The links to my videos are below. There are more than I expected. I tried to break them down into smaller chunks instead of one boring long video (and do not say, yes many small boring videos!) it’s rain barrel assembly, not the most riveting topic but again FREE WATER! The first time I used my barrels and they filled up I felt like I was sticking it to the man. Have fun and let me know if you need any more clarification. I’ll be honest with you, I did not preview the videos for a couple of reasons, I hate hearing my voice recorded and I don’t like pictures (worse yet, videos) of myself. That being said, I may have forgotten to mention something. Just send me a quick question.
<a href="” title=”Rain Barrel Part 1″>
<a href="” title=”Rain Barrel Part 2″>
<a href="” title=”Rain Barrel Part 3″>
<a href="http://” title=”Rain Barrel Part 4″>
<a href="http://” title=”Rain Barrel Part 5″>
<a href="http://” title=”Rain Barrel Part 6″>
<a href="http://” title=”Rain Barrel Part 7″>
<a href="http://” title=”Rain Barrel Part 8″>
Thanks for reading/watching,
That Home Inspector Guy