If you own a home and it has a basement, the chances are that you are going to experience some water damage at some point. The sad fact is that 98% of all homeowners with basements will. Floods are the worst disasters that hit Americans every year. They cause at least $3 billion in damage to homes each year, according to the National Flood Insurance Bureau (NFIB). The good news is there are steps you can take to prevent this. If you already notice you have a wet basement, you need to start sooner than later. Here are some things you can do to protect your home.
- Have your basement water proofed. There are companies that specialize in water proofing basements. These waterproofing basement solutions can be pricey but if you are really worried about a wet basement, it is something proactive you can do to protect your home. Make no mistake, this is a big job that will take a lot of work but if you have looked at your foundation and found gaps, it may be your best bet. You will keep the water out of your home. It can be very expensive so talk to a few companies before you select one.
- Check your gutters. Where are your downspouts pushing water from your gutters? The role of your gutter downspouts is to usher rainwater away from your foundation and your home. They need to drop that water at least five feet away from your foundation. What you need to do if that water is dropping less than five feet from your foundation is add extensions. These metal or plastic extensions will make sure the rainwater will be dumper further away. The second thing you need to do is add an underground pipe to drain that water away from your home. Lastly, the slope for the soil around your home needs to be six inches for each ten horizontal feet. If you cannot say that about your home, you should bring in a landscaper to make that change. It will make a difference.
- Deal with leaks. It should be a give that if you see active water dripping from leaks or other issues with your plumbing that these problems need to be fixed. This is one reason to pay attention to your plumbing. If you see openings, they can be patched for less than $20 with polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement. You also need to address the leaks themselves. If you notice you are using more water than usual, have someone check out your pipes. Repairing basement leaks is easter than dealing with a wet basement.
- Make sure surface water is draining correctly. When homes are first built, the home builder creates almost a hill of soil to make sure the surface water drains away from your foundation. It is often referred to as a “crown.” If you see water coming into your basement and you know the gutters are working and your plumbing is in good shape, have someone check your crown. The issue is that while that crown is created before your home is built, the weight of your home pushes down on it and gradually it loses height. The good news is that you can fix this. Talk to a foundation repair contractor or landscaping company about how to do this.
- Get rid of the water. If you cannot stop it from coming in, you have to find a way to get it out. You can make an interior drain system in your basement. You will need to create a channel that follows the perimeter of your basement floor. You do this with a saw and then a tool to create a space for a perforated pipe. This will collect the water and drain it towards the lowest part of your floor. Use a sump pump to deal with the water from there.
Dealing with a wet basement is no fun but it is really important. This water can be very damaging to your home. It will create a mold situation, which is very dangerous for you and your family’s health. Deal with this as soon as you can.