Water damage in the basement is a Charlotte, NC, homeowner’s nightmare. Whether it’s due to a leaking pipe, precipitation, or melting snow, the thought of a flooded house is enough to make anyone shudder. The good news is that this is something you can prevent. Use these tips to protect your home from water damage this winter.
Good Drainage is Essential
Proper drainage around the house helps keep water away from the basement. You’ll want to grade the soil away from the foundation and install an interior drainage system. A functional exterior drain system also directs excess water from melting snow away from the house.
Clean Your Gutters
When the gutters get clogged, they won’t direct water to the downspouts and away from the house. Water will eventually pour over the sides, collect around your foundation, and start seeping into the basement. You can avoid this scenario by cleaning your gutters at least twice a year. Be sure to check their condition and carry out any necessary repairs as well.
Don’t Forget About the Downspouts
Even with a properly working gutter system, water can still end up near the foundation if the downspouts aren’t long enough. Make sure your downspouts can move water at least 10 feet away from the house. The solution could be as easy as purchasing downspout extensions that drain water as far from the house as you want. These lines also can be placed in the ground.
Install a Sump Pump
Regardless of your efforts to keep water away from the foundation, groundwater sometimes gets the best of you and seeps into the basement. That is where a sump pump comes in handy. It collects water from an interior drainage system and gets rid of groundwater in the basement to prevent water damage and potentially save you thousands of dollars in restoration costs.
However, it’s not enough to install a sump pump. You need to inspect it throughout the year to ensure it’s in top condition. When there is water in its basin, the buoy should rise, the pump turns on, and the water gets ejected.
Inspect the Roof and Walls Regularly
Another thing you’d want to do in your home before the onset of winter is improve its condition. Secure any loose or misplaced tiles, replace the broken ones, put a cap over the chimney, insulate your windows, and repair cracks in the walls. These small tasks will prevent leakage and flooding.
Keep Pipes from Freezing
Winter temperatures in Charlotte can sometimes drop below 20°F. At this point, water freezes in the pipes. Without proper protection, they can burst and water can flood your basement in the process. You can prevent the extensive water damage that accompanies burst pipes with these measures:
- Keep the garage door closed if water pipes run through the room.
- Seal and insulate the windows, walls, doors, and sill plates in the basement or crawl space.
- Let a trickle of cold water run through the tap to prevent pressure buildup in the pipes.
- Drain the plumbing, shut off the main water valve, and let the tap run until there’s no more water before going on vacation.
- Always set the thermostat at a minimum of 55°F.
- Invest in products specifically meant to insulate pipes such as a pipe sleeve, heat cable, or heat tape.
When the Snow Starts to Fall
Your home may look like a fairytale dwelling tucked in snow, but that increases the risk of water damage. Clear it immediately, starting from the roof, and remove any ice from the eavestroughs. Be thorough when clearing the area around the foundation. The gutters and downspouts should be free of ice and snow.
Talk to Experts
Get in touch with the basement waterproofing experts at Mount Valley Foundation Services for a free basement waterproofing inspection and quote today. Our crew can help keep moisture and water out of your basement and home this winter. We use industry-approved solutions that are designed to last.