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Keeping French Drains Operational

frenchdraingrate

As a home inspector in Oklahoma I see these these french drain grates a lot.  I usually find them around homes that are built on a relatively flat lot, or at a point at which water needs to be taken away to avoid intrusion into a home or a feature such as a patio.  You may be surprised to hear this from a Home Inspector, but I am genuinely happy when I get to do an inspection during a heavy rain or just afterwards.  It gives me a better chance of ensuring that I catch any drainage problems the homes property may have that my client should be aware of.

Usually when I see these grates, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they are filled with debris.  This is their purpose, to catch debris before it enters into the drain pipe system and leads to a clog.  Best case scenario, the drain pipe takes the water to the street and to a main neighborhood drain, but this is not always the case.  Unfortunately, I often can find no evidence of where the drains lead to.

Downspouttofrenchdrain

The bottom line is; french drain systems are like any other drain. In order for them to function properly they need to be kept clear of debris.  If you have drains like these or others, pay attention next time you get some good rainfall and see if they are doing their job.  If they are not, clear away any obstructions that you can gain access to.  Should the problem persist, I recommend you gave the drains cleaned professionally by a plumber using a power-feed drain cleaner.  If you fancy yourself or someone in the family as handy with tools like this, they can be rented at your local big box store for a reasonable fee.

plumbingsnake

Like any other home maintenance project, the longer you prolong the repair of these drains, the more costly the fix is likely to be.  I’ve seen homes requiring literally thousands of dollars in foundation repair as a result of roof drainage that could have been easily upgraded for less that $50 bucks when the problem first started.

Happy Home Maintenance!

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
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Should you cover your A/C unit for the Winter?

coveredACunit

People tend to have firm opinions about whether or not they should cover their air conditioner for winter, so here’s the skinny on both sides:

Benefits of Covering:

  • Protects your condenser from the elements
  • Provides cover from ice, debris, snow, etc.
  • Prevents your AC from getting “weather-beaten”

Benefits of Not Covering:

  • Deters animals from seeing your AC as a cozy, protected home for the winter
  • Prevents moisture from collecting inside your unit
  • Allows for ventilation

So how can you get the benefits of covering your air conditioner without dealing with the all of the potential consequences? One of the easiest ways you can do this is by just covering the top of your unit. Ideally, you want to prevent damage from above while also allowing for ventilation. You can either use a piece of plywood to protect the top of your unit from falling ice as well as snow accumulation, or you can duct tape a garbage bag around just the top of your system to allow ventilation from the sides as well as cover from the top.  From Arcticac.com

Remember, if you decide to cover your unit, you should make a reminder to yourself to remove the cover in the spring.  You will likely damage your condenser unit if you run the A/C with the cover still in place, obviously costing you far more than any savings reaped from the cover. You may remove power from the outdoor unit as a safety (at the home service panel, if marked, or at the unit disconnect).

Based on the information here and my personal experience, I recommend that you just leave it uncovered.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com

We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Midwest City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2