In the Pacific Northwest – at least west of the mountains – we get our fair share of rain. It’s important to take that six or seven months of rain, sprinkled with some snow and ice, into account when building a home. This can prevent rotting wood, flooding basements, and many other issues common when a home isn’t built appropriately in this kind of climate.
It Starts with a Solid Foundation
As with any structure, the foundation is the most important part of the house-building process. A poorly structured foundation can lead to cracks, uneven construction, and even all out failure. But it’s also important to think about what’s going on at the top of the foundation as well. If the foundation is at grade, or just a few inches above, splashback from heavy rains can cause wooden siding and footings to rot, which can then affect joists supporting the home.
By building a foundation several inches or even a foot above grade, much of the splashback will just muddy the foundation, leaving the wooden components safe. It’s also wise to grade the surrounding dirt so it diverts water away from the home and eliminate any standing water that can pool at the foundation and possibly flood the basement or crawlspace.
There are other drainage systems to think about when building a home, too. A durable gutter system that takes water from the roof and away from the home with well-placed downspouts. Some gutter systems employ underground downspouts that take water all the way to the street in some cases. French drains are another way to keep water from pooling near the home.
An efficient gutter system is also important when it comes to the roof as well. A poorly designed system will allow water to pool in the gutter, and when freezing temperatures arrive, can cause ice to back up under the roofing shingles. As it slowly thaws, the water can affect the roofing materials under the shingles, causing damage to exterior sheathing, attics, and even interior walls of the home.
Sealing and Caulking
Finally, wherever there are gaps on the exterior of the home (doors, windows, siding, etc.), make sure everything is properly sealed. While gravity takes care of the majority rain, water still manages to find a way to go up and in between the smallest of crevices. Proper caulking eliminates much of the worry in this respect.
Rain Creek Construction has been building custom homes in Clark County, WA for over a decade and has the experience to make sure your new home is protected from the elements. From the top of the roof to the bottom of the foundation, we’ll make sure your home is built to stay dry on the inside while the rain howls away on the outside.