Keeping your basement dry is a challenge many home owners didn’t know they would be taking on. By nature of their design, basements are located below surface levels leaving them prone to water coming in from the walls, the ground, drain pipes, and from plumbing issues located in any area of your home. If this happens you could find yourself needing a water damage restoration specialist, as any amount of water can cause severe damage to your home.
Luckily there are multiple things you can do to keep your basement dry, including:
1. Basement Waterproofing
There are two main methods to waterproofing your basement, exterior and interior. Exterior basement waterproofing entails removing the dirt that surrounds your home to expose your foundation. A waterproof membrane is then added to your foundation’s exterior ensuring water isn’t able to seep through the porous concrete. Before the dirt is replaced, weeping tiles are laid at the bottom edge of your foundation to help pull any water absorbed by the ground away from your home. Interior waterproofing has a similar approach, with a waterproof membrane added to the interior foundation walls and a trench is dug around the interior perimeter for weeping tiles to again pull water away from your home.
2. Exterior Grading
Your yard should slope away from your home, this way during heavy rain falls or when snow is melting this excess water will follow the slope away from your home. If your yard is not graded properly and is sloped towards your home, this can cause the water from a big rainfall to pool up against your home, with no wear to go this water will begin to penetrate your concrete foundation and may potentially end up in your basement.
3. Ensure Gutters and Downpipes are in Good Condition
Your roof covers a large surface area, as the rain that lands on your roof runs towards the edge of your roof it accumulates to quite a bit of water. If your gutters are broken or clogged that water will run right down the side of your home and land by your home’s foundation. As this water begins to saturate the ground, the force of the water will push up against your foundation and the concrete will begin to absorb that water. If you have a crack in your foundation, the pressure will push the water through the crack and into your basement. With downspouts ensure they are leading away from your home, if your downspout is broken or leading towards your house the same issue will arise as with the broken or clogged gutters.
4. Window Wells
The windows wells around your basement windows not only allow for natural light to enter your basement, but they also can collect water. That is why it is important that your window wells are draining properly. There should be at least a foot of crushed stone at the bottom of your window wells, this will allow for water to seep into the ground and not build up around your window. You should also have a weeping tile at the bottom of the stone to help manage the water that collects away from your home.
5. Install a Sump Pump
If water does get into your basement, a sump pump will help reduce the potential damage by pumping water out of your home. A sump pump is installed in the lowest part of your basement, there is a large basin that will collect any water that is in your basement or the ground and a pump will push the water out and away from your home. If you have an interior waterproofing system installed in your basement, a sump pump is an important part of that system as the weeping tile will direct any water collected to the pump. Having a sump pump is crucial if you live close to a natural body of water, your area is prone to flooding, or if you live in a low-lying area.
Keeping your home dry and minimizing potential water damage should be a priority for any homeowner. By ensuring the above is completed in your home, you will greatly reduce the chance of water entering your home.