Many people are concerned about basement water leaks, as they should be. Basement water leaks can lead to many problems, including structural damage, mold, an unusable basement, and not to mention a decreased home value. There are many steps you can take to help prevent leaks, More Bonuses.
The first thing to understand in preventing basement water leaks, is your homes water management system. Your home’s water management system has many components, however your rain gutters and the grading of your yard are probably the two most important to understand when trying to prevent leaks.
Many people say, I have never had a problem with a leak. The reality is most basement water leaks take years to develop, this usually happens due to excess moisture being placed against your foundation year after year. So, even if you don’t currently have a leak, it doesn’t mean that one isn’t just a rain storm away. By following the steps below, you can drastically reduce the risk of a basement water leak in the future.
Let’s start with the inside of your foundation. First inspect all of your foundation walls for cracks. If you discover cracks in the foundation walls, check them for moisture by looking for active water or water stains from past water. If there are no signs of water past or present water leaks, and they are small enough you cannot fit a dime inside of them, continue to check them. If they are leaking or big enough to fit a dime inside of, it is a good idea to call a basement contractor and have them pressure injected.
Now that you’ve inspected the inside of your foundation, let’s move to the outside. The first thing to do is walk around looking at your gutter system. Your gutter system is meant to take rain water run-off from your roof and disperse it away from your foundation. Check and make sure the gutters are clean and free-flowing. Next, look to make sure your gutters are pitched correctly and flow towards the downspouts with no sags or dips that could allow water to sit in them and overflow. The last thing to check on your gutters is the downspouts. The downspouts should be free-flowing and have at least a 3-foot extension at the bottom to carry the water away from the foundation. If any of these things are not working correctly, thousands of extra gallons of water could be placed next to your foundation in a torrential downpour.
Next, check the grading of your yard. The grade of your yard should flow away from the foundation at least a quarter of an inch per foot for five feet (minimum). A yard that has a negative grade, or a grade that flows towards your house will put extra moisture next to the foundation. This extra moisture overtime could lead to basement water leaks and expensive foundation repairs.