How to Prevent Basement Leaking
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” this adage is truer today than ever before. This is especially true when it comes to basement leaks. Taking the time to prevent the leaks can save you hundreds in basement repairs later on.
The majority of the leaky basement problems are due to what is known as run-off. This is water that collects on roofs and is ushered down gutters that deposit it along the baseline of the home. Keep your gutters clear and make sure that all sown spouts are in good working order. This will ensure that rain water is directed away from the home and thus prevent basement leaks. These are the outside problems that can exacerbate leaking basement problem.
Inspect the basement for cracks and fissures. Repair any cracks found with an epoxy mixture that is injected into the cracks and that will remain flexible. The flexible epoxy will prevent new fissures from forming along side the old ones if the cracks are being caused by external pressure. Use a chisel or hammer to actually open the crack, making the inside of the hole wider than the top then fill it with epoxy or hydraulic cement. This method creates a great seal.
Another thing to check for outside is the grain of the lawn. The lawn should be sloping away from the base of the house. This is an easy although expensive fix. It will involve a light excavation and the purchase of some dirt. You will enough dirt to create an angled slope away from the base of the house for about 4-6 feet outward. This will help any water from rain or snow to follow a natural path away from the walls. Erosion along the base of the house could possibly add to this effect.
Knowing the flood history of the area can also help you to avoid leaks in your basement. If the house is not above the recorded flood level of the last flood from 100 years back take measures to prevent the basement from flooding. You can use the natural landscape to achieve this purpose. Embankments can also be erected to provide sufficient cover from any flooding.
Clean the floors and walls thoroughly and then use a waterproofing sealant to coat them this can be followed up with a waterproof paint for an added measure. For some of these you will need to have a professional contractor for others not so much. If all fails a contractor can install a sump pump system to drain away any water that collects behind the walls. Visit the website for Dr. Pipe Drain and plumbing for more on waterproofing your basement.