Patios are very nice to have, particularly for those nice, cool summer evenings when you like to be able to relax outside after a hard day. Like any area of the home, though, they may be prone to water damage and, as such, every homeowner should know what to do in the event of a water problem. This will prevent subsequent problems or damage to the patio.
As with any case of water damage, the best defense is always a good offense, which means taking the time to inspect the patio and the surrounding grounds and structure for anything that might give way to a water damage problem.
Causes of Patio Water Damage
The biggest cause of water damage to patios is inadequate drainage. Drainage systems may be installed when patios are built or the structure itself may be designed for water to drain off by installing a slope to facilitate water runoff. Improper sloping may result in puddling in the middle of your patio, which is unsightly and renders the patio unusable.
Even if you have adequate drainage, the system may become clogged up over time. Conduct periodic inspections of the drainage system serving your patio and make sure that it is free and clear of obstructions.
Water damage to patios may also be cause by digging too close to water lines, lines that can rupture and saturate the ground in a matter of minutes or hours. Once water gets up under the patio, the foundation for the construction is compromised and you may end up seeing leaks as the patio is stressed beyond its ability to compensate for.
Likewise, make sure that the gutters and downspouts serving the home direct water out and away from the patio. Allowing the water to drain onto the patio itself virtually guarantees that water will end up under the patio, in your home, or both.
Some patios may also be treated with a barrier that is designed to repel dirt, oil, and water. It is basically a sealer and is designed for use on concrete or brick patios and walls. While patio waterproofing is not 100% guaranteed, the more water that can be channeled away from the patio, the better. This also goes hand in hand with having a decent drainage setup, channeling the water out and away from the home.
If your home does not yet have a patio and you are considering one, remember to take into consideration the size of the patio you are considering, be sure to dig to appropriate levels to keep the patio at the proper elevation relevant to the home, and use only the highest quality materials designed to keep the patio in good condition and resistant to the elements for a long time to come.