Out of all the rooms in your building, your basement is at highest risk for water damage. This is largely due to the fact basements come into contact with porous soil at all four walls and bear the brunt of downward-flowing water after precipitation. To help you prevent water damage in your basement, our waterproofing professionals here at Everdry Waterproofing have put together this short guide. Read on for 3 Steps to Preventing Water Damage in Your Basement, and contact our New York waterproofing contractors at (585) 247-7692 for commercial and residential waterproofing services today!
Ensure Proper Drainage
The first and easiest step to preventing water damage in your basement is ensuring that your building as a whole has proper drainage. Without proper drainage, rain water can collect near your foundation and cause serious damage to the basement of your property. Below are several tips to follow to ensure proper outdoor drainage on your residential or commercial building.
- Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts: Gutters are long channels that sit on the lower edges of a roof to collect rainwater or snow melt. Downspouts are vertical channels that direct water down and away from your building. Over time, dirt and debris can build up in gutters and downspouts, causing them to clog. When clogged, gutters and downspouts are essentially ineffective: water can no longer collect and drain properly, so it flows down the sides of your building, where it can pool near your foundation and pose a serious flooding risk for your basement. Semi-annual cleaning sessions will greatly help to eliminate this threat. And if you don’t want to break out the latter or climb onto your own roof, contact our gutter cleaning professional in your area to do the job for you.
- Direct Downspouts 5-10 Inches Away From Your Structure: As crucial components of your exterior drainage system, your downspouts are responsible for moving water down and away from your building. In order to ensure that your downspouts aren’t simply pouring your water straight down (and dangerously close to your foundation), angle their bottoms 5-10 inches away from your structure.
- Slope Your Yard Away From Your Foundation: A final factor to consider when maintaining proper drainage on your property is the slope of your property itself. Yards that slope towards their buildings will carry water precisely where you don’t want it to be: your foundation. Perfectly flat yards will also allow some water to pool near your foundation. To keep water away from your building, be sure that your yard is sloped away from your foundation.
Test Your Sump Pump
In a basement drainage system, a sump pump removes water that has accumulated in a sump basin and directs it into the sewer. When your sump pump isn’t working correctly, the water accumulated in sump basin has nowhere to go, which can eventually spell trouble for your basement walls. In order to ensure that your sump pump is functioning properly, you should test it at least twice a year — even more during particularly stormy seasons.
You can test your own pump by first unplugging it and the float cord pump, and then plugging in only the pump to ensure than it runs properly. If you have determined that your pump is running properly, plug both the pump cord and the float cord back in and remove the lid of your sump crock. Slowly pour water from a 5-gallon jug into the crock. If your pump switch turns on and your pump begins to remove the water from the crock, then it is working correctly. After pouring, wait awhile to make sure your pump turns off. If your pump fails any of these steps, it’s time to schedule a repair.
Replace and Repair Where Necessary
It almost goes without saying that broken components of your property’s drainage and waterproofing systems will put your property at a greater risk for water damage. For your basement in particular, it’s important to look out for leaks in the walls and pipes. If you notice any dripping pipes or dark, damp spots in the walls or ceiling of your basement, it’s important to schedule repairs as quickly as possible. While some pipe problems are easy fixes and can be done on your own, problems such as dampened walls and cracked caulking are often indicative of larger water damage issues and should be inspected and repaired by an experienced waterproofing professional.