Not many people pay attention to what goes on in the basement when they build a new home or move into a new one in Columbia, SC. After all, what’s out of sight is out of mind. Big mistake!
Delaying basement waterproofing and ignoring basement leaks is an open invitation for moisture problems and flooding to wreak havoc in your home. Here are seven steps you can take to beat leakage.
Carry out timely inspections
Just because the basement of your home doesn’t see much traffic doesn’t mean it’s always going to remain clean, dry and moisture-free all year round. Soil movements, rainwater and hydrostatic pressure may all gang up to assault this space, causing floor cracks and leakages. You need to check its condition from time to time. Drag your feet and problems will build up. Cracks may widen, humidity levels will go up, and mold and mildew will spread quickly, leaving you with a deplorable basement that’s going to set you back thousands of dollars in repairs.
Fix basement cracks
No matter how small cracks are, they will ultimately let water into your home making your floors and walls cold and damp. If you notice hairline cracks or small cracks, call your basement contractor to fix them. Sometimes, an epoxy injection — costing less than $200 — is all that’s needed to seal them up and prevent leakage. However, significant cracks may require concrete lifting and concrete pours repair. Your contractor will advise on the best solution.
Fix defective gutters and downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are supposed to direct rainwater away from the foundation. When they’re defective, damaged or clogged, they do the reverse — drain water towards the foundation. Water will accumulate and start seeping through to the basement via the cracks in the foundation walls or basement floor. By fixing your gutters and downspouts, you will prevent leakage.
Grade the soil around the home
Sometimes, groundwater or rainwater in Columbia, SC, ends up in the basement due to ineffective grading. Ensure the ground around your home’s foundation slopes away from the home, not toward it. It should be at least one inch per foot for six feet. Channeling water in the wrong direction may cause it to accumulate and eventually seep back into the foundation. This is likely to happen when you don’t compact the fill dirt around the foundation.
Insulate your basement
You’ve walked into your basement on a heating season and found beads of water on the wall or on the corners of your floor. That’s not unusual. It’s condensation, a common problem in homes with below-ground piping or ducts. Insulation can help stop moisture buildup. Cover walls, ducts and water pipes with foam pipe insulation to prevent warm air from coming into contact with cool surfaces. Once you insulate the pipes, plug any gaps with polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement.
Install French Drains
Installing a drainage system in the interior may channel out water, but it won’t waterproof the walls or stop water from the outside from seeping through. A French drain will come in handy in relieving hydrostatic pressure, while external proofing will protect your foundation. Expect some excavation work around the home. As well as keeping water out, it will stop you from tearing up your finished basement.
Fix foundation problems
Sinking grounds or a cracked foundation are serious structural problems you can’t afford to ignore. Besides letting in water to your basement, they may cause your home to cave in. Solutions such as push piers and wall strengthening as well as channel anchors and slab piers can help resolve these issues.
What happens in the basement doesn’t stay in the basement. Moisture, mold and other undesirable effects emanating from the basement will end up in the living space above. For this reason, you have to act fast and decisively when dealing with basement leakage in your home. Fix cracks on time, install drains, ensure proper grading and fix your gutters and downspouts.
Do you suspect that your basement is letting in water from the outside or from the water pipes that run through it? Contact Mount Valley Foundation Services to schedule an inspection today. We will supply you with a free basement leak repair quote and solid recommendations to fix your moisture and leakage problems.