How quick can you mop up the water in your basement?
By Menno Dueck
Heavy spring rain allowed Jeremy to continue to improve his bailing skills. Out came the buckets, mops and fans, not a new experience for Jeremy. In fact, he’s embraced the challenge and is sure he can shave off a few minutes from last year’s record. Partner Ellen dreams of a day when the basement can be used for something more than storing plastic bins of Christmas decorations and kids’ old art projects.
Rain and/or a quick thaw while the ground is still frozen are ideal weather conditions for water seepage. With the ground unable to act as a sponge, water will find its way to the lowest point. If that point is next to your house, the chance of having water seepage increases. Prevention starts with assessing the flow of water. Take a walk around your house and yard, in the rain, to see where the water gathers.
Lack of gutter maintenance may be the issue. Do the gutters flow freely to the downpipes or are they sloped wrong, have holes, rusty areas or cracked joints where water is running or dripping next to the foundation? Are they clear of debris? Is the water that flows out of the downpipes being taken away from the house or is it pooling near the foundation?
Annual maintenance (cleaning, caulking) is affordable prevention and if the gutters and downpipes are not repairable, then replace.
Do you have gardens that butt into the house? Every time you water that garden, particularly if the sprinkler(s) hit the house, you are watering the foundation, too. Might be a good idea to incorporate a gravel ‘path’ between garden and house and make sure any landscape slopes away from the house on all sides.
Other conditions, such as slope of yard and cracks should be discussed with your contractor. If your yard (or your neighbour’s yard) slopes toward your house, moisture (rain/thaw/sprinkler) will collect and run to your house; additional drainage around the perimeter of the house may be required. If there are cracks, they will need to be sealed from the outside, which could involve excavation.
Seepage can be expensive (damages not usually covered by insurance), create potential health risks for your family (mold, fungus), and make your house difficult to sell (musty smell). Now is the time to get into prevention mode. Leave the bailing to Jeremy.
Past articles are posted on DueckEnterprises.com under Blog.
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