With record-breaking snowfall winter after winter in New England, and spring and summer rainfalls not far behind, the last few years have been banner ones for leaking basements and home water damage. If you’re among those unlucky enough to have the experience of finding a wet corner of your basement (or worse yet, enough standing water to walk in), you’re likely not eager to repeat it.
Before you decide that packing up and moving to a second floor apartment is the easiest option, here are a few tips on what to do about a wet basement, and how to keep it from happening again.
What to do for Water in the Basement
First and foremost, if there’s enough of a leak in the basement that there’s actually standing water on the floor, don’t wade through it until you’re certain that they electricity has been shut off. If it’s not that bad, you can use a shop vacuum or even just a bucket and some towels to clean up the water. From there, you’ll need to remove any water damaged items like boxes, carpeting, and stored clothing to prevent the formation of potentially harmful mold.
Once that work is done, you need to establish where the water came from. Burst pipes are one thing, but in all likelihood water in the basement is coming from outside. Check the walls for cracks and leaks, patching any you find with masonry crack filler or caulk. There are also special waterproof paints that can be applied to walls for the future.
In any case, it’s a good idea to call in a foundation specialist to check for any damage that the untrained eye might miss. A damaged foundation is something that you want addressed as quickly and thoroughly as possible, before a bad problem gets even worse.
How to Keep Water Out of Your Basement for Good
Again, most basement and foundation leaks are coming from outside, which means your home’s water drainage system needs to be updated. Here’s what you should look for.
- Rain gutters are your house’s first line of defense against leaking water. Check your gutters and downspouts for clogs, cracks, wear, tear, and general damage. If your gutters aren’t properly draining water, it’s time to have them replaced. Remember to clean them regularly, at least twice a year depending on the surrounding trees and other factors.
- Make sure your landscaping properly leads away from the house. The soil around the foundation of your house should slope down and away at least ¼-inch per foot for several feet, in ensure that water drains away.
- If you have an underground drainage system, you should have it checked for clogs or other damage. If you don’t have one, it’s probably a good idea to have one installed. For instance, an underground dry well can be run from your gutter system’s downspouts and used to disperse storm water more evenly throughout your yard.
In the end, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it’s best to have these systems checked before you end up wading through ankle-deep water next to the foosball table. Waterproof your basement and if you’re in Connecticut or Westchester County, NY, call CT Gutter to have your rain gutter and underground drain systems checked today.