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                     Protecting Block Walls from water/moisture damage

Block Walls can last years if properly taken care of. However, there are many forces at work that if ignored will cause damage to block walls. One of the biggest threats is water/moisture damage. In our community, homeowners are responsible for any damage that may be caused to block walls by their actions. Whether intentional or not. There are many simple solutions that can be used if there is water damage occurring to your block walls.

Retaining Walls:

Retaining walls are designed to support the weight of backfill material to allow a home's lot to be level. In D'Arcy ranch, we have several homes with retaining walls (Mostly along the common areas). When these walls were constructed, they were most likely treated to protect against moisture damage. However, after years of use, the protection can wear off or become damaged. This will allow water to seek its way through the wall and cause damage. Prevention is a lot less expensive than repairs.

The first step to determining whether there is a problem is to inspect your wall. Look at the backside of your wall. If there are water/moisture stains or wet spots, there is damage occurring to your wall. The steps to fix it will be determined by where the water damage is. If it's above where the ground level is in your yard, it's probably a matter of adjusting watering/irrigation system. If it's below the ground level, it could be more significant.

First and foremost, keeping water away from the wall will go a long way in protecting the wall from damage. An internet search on the subject suggests the following:

     1) Adjust sprinklers so that the spray does not hit the wall.
     2) Do not run irrigation lines close to the wall.
     3) Repair any leaks that may occur as soon as they happen.
     4) Do not over water.
     5) Create a border along the wall using material such as gravel.
     6) Make sure not to change the drainage pattern that was designed into the lot.
     7) In severe cases, the best option may be a moisture barrier between the earth material
         at the block wall. This can be an involved process that will require professional input.


These are only a few ideas. If you have water damage occurring to your wall, we suggest you contact a licensed contractor for advice. The information provided is offered as a guide only and is not intended as professional advice. Solutions to damage are specific to the kind of damage occurring. Searching the internet can also provide valuable information.

Privacy Walls:

Privacy walls are walls that separate two properties. The ground on both sides of the wall are at the same (or near same) level. Damage to these walls is very easy to prevent and can usually be fixed with little effort. Most of the damage that occurs to privacy walls is improper irrigation/sprinkler system or placing landscape material against the wall without properly sealing it.

If your privacy wall borders a right of way or common area, look at the wall from the outside of your yard. If it's stained or wet, you probably need to adjust your watering.

     1) Adjust sprinklers so that the spray does not hit the wall.
     2) Do not run irrigation lines close to the wall.
     3) Repair any leaks that may occur as soon as they happen.
     4) Do not over water.
     5) Create a border along the wall using material such as gravel.
     6) Make sure not to change the drainage pattern that was designed into the lot.

If you have put in any landscaping that is elevated above the original grade, seal the wall to prevent damage. There are several products available. The professionals at your nearest paint or Home & Garden store should be able to help you determine the best product to use.

This article is designed to help homeowners determine if they may have water damage occurring to their property. It is not intended to provide a fix for every problem. If you believe you may have damage, please seek the advice of a professional.


                                                            

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