When water collects around your house from rain, storms, snow, or ice, it can penetrate your foundation and enter into your basement. The constant pooling, evaporating, freezing, and thawing process of the water and soil around the foundation can be very damaging, putting excessive pressure on the walls and causing the entire house to shift and settle, often resulting in cracks in the walls and floor, bowing walls and erosion.
1. Make Sure Your Downspouts and Gutters are Clean and Working!
One of the simplest ways to prevent rain water from pooling around your foundation is to ensure that your eavestrough system is in good working order! Keep gutters free of debris and make sure that your downspouts are draining water at least 10 feet from your home. Although sometimes unsightly, extending the downspouts is a must to protect your foundation from water damage. Alternately, a rain barrel can capture overflow rain water.
2. Does Your Walkway or Driveway Slope Towards the House?
Over time, your pavement walkways and driveway may warp and slope towards your house instead of away from it. Don’t allow water to pool and sit against the foundation – the pavement must be fixed or removed to prevent slope.
3. Make Sure Your Landscape is graded AWAY from Your House!
An easy way to eye the grade of your landscape or check for holes or hilly sections is to take a walk around your house after a rainfall to check for water pooling around the foundation. Fill any holes with dirt to ensure that the water is draining away from the house.
4. Check Brick and Mortar Joints for Cracks and Deterioration
Again, take a walk around your house to check for brick and foundation cracks. Hairline cracks and deteriorating mortar joints should be filled, but anything bigger should be inspected by a professional to determine if there is structural damage.
5. Is Your Weeping Tile Working? Do You Have a Sump Pump?
All basements need to have a functioning exterior drain system (footer drain, weeping tile, etc) to carry excess water away from the house. For best results, the drain should run to a sump pump (installed in your basement floor) that will pump the water out into your yard and not the sewer system which when backed up can send the sewer water back into your basement.
Maintaining your home’s foundation is one of the best ways to save thousands of dollars when it comes time for home repairs. There are many ways for water to get into your basement, but with just a few adjustments, you can help prevent water build-up around the perimeter of your house and out of your basement.
Contact us for more information or for a free inspection.