There are a lot of things to love about rain. It washes away dirt and debris, it nourishes your garden, and it keeps your grass looking fresh and green. Another thing rain, especially a good heavy rain, can bring is basement water leaks. Flooding in your basement is never a good surprise. Excess moisture can cause mold or unwanted bacteria, foundational issues, and other serious damage. Thankfully, you can stay ahead of basement water leaks when you take a few easy-to-understand precautions.
- Clean Your Gutters. This might seem silly after all, what do your gutters have to do with your basement? Plenty, as it turns out! When your gutters are clogged, they tend to overflow. Excess water can build up around the foundation of your house and cause any number of problems, including leaks. If you haven’t taken a few hours to remove debris from your gutters, including leaves and grime left over from autumn and winter, it’s time to get cracking. Additionally, you’ll want to install both leaf guards and downspout extenders. These items will help ensure that water doesn’t have an opportunity to pool in your yard or around your foundation.
- Change the Grade: Grading your landscape helps to encourage not only a beautiful yard, but also proper drainage. If you’re not sure how to grade it yourself, you can certainly hire professionals to do the job for you. However, if you’re comfortable doing the job yourself, you can change the grade by making sure soil surrounding your home is pitched away at least 1⁄4 inch per foot. This will ensure that water will drain toward your yard rather than toward your foundation. You want the grade to be highest at the perimeter of your home.
- Watch those trees: We don’t often think about trees being at the root of a problem, especially when it comes to basement water leaks. Unfortunately, trees are behind more basement water leaks than you might think. To avoid becoming a victim of this scenario, you’ll want to make sure that trees, especially those that have aggressive roots, are planted at least 20 feet away from your home in order to protect the foundation. Trees with less aggressive roots can be planted closer. Talk to your local tree nursery to find out which trees will do well in your area as well as how closely those trees can be planted to your home.
Protecting your home from water leaks is essential to protecting your biggest investment. Be sure to check your basement with the change of seasons or even more regularly if you’ve had issues in the past. By following these steps, you’re on the right track to stay ahead of any potential basement leaks. Don’t forget that if a basement leak occurs, you can always call in professionals to determine the cause of the problem. They should also be able to help you fix it or give you the name of a reputable company who can.