Your Place: Seek professional help for porch flooding issue

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Q: I have an enclosed porch, built on a preexisting concrete patio slab.

Whenever there is heavy or prolonged rain, the slab becomes very damp, especially at the two corners farthest from the house.

The problem is not gutter overflow, as the gutters and downspouts are clean and discharge water several feet away, and downhill, from the slab.

I have removed earth from the slab for about a foot back from the worst corner, but there is still water intrusion.

A: Iím sure my sharp readers will have suggestions, but I think knowing the age of the house and when the problem started would be helpful for a solution.

Ground shifts, and trees and shrubbery planted as babies grow into adults and change the way moisture affects structures. The slab and porch might not have been built to standards designed to prevent such intrusion in torrential and prolonged downpours.

Iíd bring in a landscaper or a concrete contractor to look at the problem to see if it is growing worse.

It could have an easy answer. The fact that you have identified it as a problem and are concerned about it might guarantee that the problem wonít get any worse.

Break-in prevention:

Vacation time emboldens burglars, so here are a few tips on deterring them:

Install deadbolts on all doors and windows, and make sure they are locked before you leave home.

Lights on motion detectors are preferable to keeping floodlights on all night.

Rotary timers can give your house a lived-in look. Lights, radio and TVs donít have to be on for long, but you should program a variety of on-and-off sequences during the night.

Security experts suggest putting certain lights in your home on timers year-round, not just when you are away, to set up a routine that makes it appear as if someone is home.

Remember to keep the curtains drawn.

This is not a complete list, of course. And one thing I also recommend is that you not post vacation photos on Facebook while you are away.

I can wait until youíre back to see them.