Rain, rain, go away, and come again some other day. This has been the refrain for all builders and developers in the past from time to time. There are a lot of things you can do in the rain. Like to fish, hunt, or even sing, but you sure can’t build a house or a road. Once a house is “dried in” (roof on and windows hung), the rain won’t slow you down too much as long as the subs show up. As far as building a road goes, forget it!
Several aspects of the climate and local soil composition aggravate the problem.
As we all know, Georgia is famous for its red clay. Found mostly north of the Fall Line, this clay when wet is slippery as an eel in oil and when dry, it’s as hard as granite. Also, the clay takes longer to dry out than the sandy soil of South Georgia. To this problem, you add the fact that the days are much shorter in the winter and, even if you happen to see the sun, it doesn’t get very high in the sky. As soon as you get a couple of dry days, it rains again and you have to start allover, which is a vicious cycle, to say the least. About the only way to keep your sanity is to realize that you can’t force Mother Nature to do anything she doesn’t want to, and when she’s good and ready she’ll give you enough dry weather to get your work done.
In the meantime, there are a few things you should check around your house. The first thing that comes to mind is the roof. Look around places like the chimney and in the attic. If you thought you might have a leak and you haven’t seen any water lately, then you can rest assured the roof is fine. The next things to check are the gutters. They could probably use a little cleaning out of the gutter garden and fixing up. (I have a downspout that fell off the house; so much water has gone through it. Now that I’ve mentioned it here, I’m sure I’ll have to fix it this afternoon.) Gutters can cause more harm than good if they overflow and water runs down between the gutter and the fascia board. Also, clean out around the area at the bottom of the down spout so that water can flow away from the house.
Another place to check is the crawl space under your house. Chances are, with all this rain it’s a little damp under there. To help dry it out, open the crawl space door and make sure all the foundation vents are open. This will allow air to circulate and evaporate the moisture. In some cases, more drastic measures have to be taken, such as installing a French drain or even a fan to blow air around to speed up the drying process. If you look under there and you see a small pond complete with lily pads and tadpoles, maybe you’d better call in some professionals to handle the problem. As for me, I’ve got a downspout to fix.