Having a basement, whether finished and serving as a living space, or just used to store various personal and family items, is a helpful asset that can easily expand your home’s value and livability. One of the most common problems that comes with this handy space is the chance of flooding, an advent that can turn into a terrifying vision of lost money, time and aggravation. Fortunately, there are several ways you can use to help avoid this annoyance from becoming reality. Easy to implement and light on the wallet, these tips will help keep your cozy space from becoming a mushy swamp.
Before you decide on any improvements or changes to your landscape, careful inspection of a couple areas is key. First, walk the perimeter of the building and note any cracks in the foundation or basement walls. Any that you find should immediately be sealed with epoxy on the outside and masonry cement on any problems found inside.
Your next step is to stand outside in a heavy rainstorm and note how the water travels and where it pools. This information is vital when performing several of the following tips, most notably how far out to extend downspouts, where to install sump pumps and whether or not your property is properly graded.
Tend To Your Gutters
Gutters can easily be considered as one of the flash points for the start of potential flooding. Gutters packed with leaves, dirt and other detritus will cause the water they are supposed to channel to dump out onto the area around the foundation. This increases the chances of flooding exponentially, especially when coupled with cracks in the basement wall and the foundation itself. This is most important in the spring, when heavy rains can cause more debris to fall in them, and autumn, when the leaves gradually accumulate from surrounding tree branches.
Once your gutters are spic and span, take note of how far out the spouts extend away from the house. If they are under three feet away from the building’s foundation, invest in some downspouts. These attach directly to the gutter spout and direct water away from vulnerable areas and dumping it into your yard. To avoid soil erosion, consider putting down rocks or gravel where the water emerges.
Invest in Residential Waterproofing!
More advanced problems contributing to basement flooding may require the assistance of a Fairfax residential waterproofing specialist. The services these pros offer vary, the perfect one for you depending heavily on the specifics of your situation.
The most basic is waterproof paint or primer applied to the interior and exterior of the basement’s walls. For cracks and crevices in the walls of the basement, injecting polyurethane material into said blemished ensures they do not become entry points for your nemesis.
For more advanced problems, excavation may be necessary. This can be performed both inside and out, and involves digging down about six feet to the bottom of the foundation. This allows the contractor to find problems existing at the very bottom of your structure, as well as apply a waterproof membrane or primer to head off future problems.
Grade Your Lawn
If the slope of your property causes water to run towards your house rather than away from it, it is graded improperly and needs to be fixed. If you want to avoid having to regrade your whole lawn, a pricey prospect no matter how large your property is, dig a trench in the middle of your lawn that bisects it. This allows water to run around your house, rather than into the basement. If you prefer not to have a ditch running through your lawn, and you have some handiness with basic tools, install a French drain. This serves the same purpose, without the unsightly break in your lawn’s perfection.
Install a Sump Pump
A sump pump is a handy device used for gathering water in its basin and redirecting it outside rather than allowing it to ruin your prized space inside. Different types of sump pumps are available, including those that are installed under the basement floor itself, to portable ones you can position wherever you want to. Purchasing two, one for use as a backup, is a smart move, especially if your home is located in a high flood area.
To make sure you have your bases covered even if the power goes out in a particularly nasty bit of weather, purchase a generator to hook the sump pumps up to. No matter how expensive or efficient the pump you buy is, it is no better than a large paperweight without electricity to power it.
Check Your Septic System
Having professionals come out and inspect both your sewer and septic system is especially important during the heavy rains of spring. Extended periods of heavy rain can easily clog sewer lines and tax your septic system beyond its capacity to handle. In turn, the water these systems are designed to control will likely back up and create a mess in your basement.
Contact Dirt Connections For Assistance With Waterproofing
Having a finished or unfinished basement should be a point of pride and usefulness, not an area of dread once certain times of the year hit. Whether or not you live in an area with a high flood potential, preventative measures should always be taken against flooding. These few simple steps can go a long way towards avoiding the absolute nightmare a flooded basement can be. Ensure flood prevention by contacting Dirt Connections online or by phone to discuss how our residential waterproofing services will benefit your home.