Problems: Water damage, mold, foundation damage.
Trouble signs: Flaking or peeling paint on walls, bowed walls, moisture or odor.
What to do: Ensure that the ground around your foundation slopes downward away from the house at least one inch per six feet. Regularly clean downspouts and make sure they direct water at least 10 feet from foundation. Ensure sump pumps operate.
What it may cost: A weekend adding well-compacted earth around the foundation. It will cost about $50 to extend downspouts for a typical house. A battery-powered backup for sump pumps (during power loss) costs $150 to $400.
What it saves: Thousands of dollars in water damage. Foundation repairs cost $10,000 or more.
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