Although there are so many advantages to owning a house over renting, it’s an undeniable fact that ownership has its downside. For instance, if anything goes wrong in your apartment or other property that you rent, you call the landlord and have them take care of it. However, if you own a house, you’re on your own, bucko.
In the vast, exciting world of Things That Can Go Wrong With Your House, a leaky basement is right up there at the top. Basements are a great place to store stuff, to which a wet basement will prove detrimental. Never mind the fact that if you don’t go down into your basement often, you may not even notice it’s leaking for days!
Fortunately, there’s a number of simple fixes available for a chronically wet basement. Let’s take a look at some.
Practice Good Gutter Hygiene
That’s just a cute way of saying “clean out your gutters”. It’s amazing how much debris can accumulate in your gutters over the course of a year. Neglect them long enough and you’ll even find stuff growing in them (ahem … guilty as charged!).
A clogged gutter means rainwater overflows, only to end up pooling around your house’s foundation. Before you know it, your basement is suffering the wet, detrimental effects of that clogged gutter. Make sure that in addition to your typical fall leaf clean up, you give the gutters a good going-over. If there’s anything worse than overflowing and improperly draining gutters, it’s dealing with them in the dead of winter.
Adjust The Downspouts
Speaking of the gutter drainage system, the article “4 Reasons Why a Wet Basement is Often an Easy Fix” notes that downspouts have an important job to do, and that’s to divert water away from the house. Make sure the downspout has an elbow or elbow extension at the bottom so that the water flows away from the house’s foundation.
The article also points out that gutters need the right fall, about a half inch for every ten feet of gutters. The wrong fall may result in water spilling out and simply falling onto the ground adjacent to the foundation, and that’s where the problems start.
Beware The Trees; They’re Sneaky
Ah, trees! The icebergs of the yard! Meaning, of course, that there’s more to the tree below the surface than what you can see, and in this case, it’s a root system. A robust root system can spell problems for your foundation, so make sure that larger shade trees are planted at least 20 feet away from your house while smaller species can be planted 10 to 15 feet away.
Finally, you can handle smaller, intermittent leaks by applying a waterproofing product such as Xypex or Drylok. The thing to remember about this particular tactic is that it’s best used ONLY for those annoying little bits of seepage that occur once in a great while. That’s because there’s a matter of pressure on the groundwater under your cellar floor, courtesy of the weight of the groundwater above.
If your house is also “blessed” with plumbing problems, you may want to check the article “A Plunger Can’t Fix All Your Plumbing Issues”. Good luck, and stay dry!