Drainage

Slope and the ability of the soil to absorb water combine to determine where and how fast water drains from the lot. Low areas that hold water can mean trouble inside and outside the house. Muddy spots are a nuisance, particularly just outside the back door. They may be only a symptom, however, of the real problem inside. A wet basement goes beyond the nuisance level. Drying it out permanently will likely be expensive. It may even be impossible.

Get a feel for a house's drainage problems by checking whether the building is on a rise or in a low spot, and simply asking yourself where rain is going to go after it falls on the roof. You want an obvious slope away

Low areas that hold water can mean trouble inside and outside the house. You want an obvious slope away from your foundation on all sides.

from your foundation on all sides. If you are worried about what you see, go back for a look during and just after a hard rain. Also check local flood information— often available through mortgage lenders. You must get federal flood insurance through a commercial insurance agent if you live in a flood-prone area.

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