Summertime, when a dry basement is easy

SUMMERIn those lazy hazy days of summer, a leaky basement is probably the furthest thing from your mind. When you do go into the basement does it feel cool and comfortable – or damp and moldy? If damp and moldy, you could very easily just have condensation (sweating because warm humid air is meeting the cold concrete wall) or perhaps water seeping in through your foundation walls. Just because you don’t see water pouring into the basement in the middle of August, doesn’t mean you don’t need a foundation repair. It is however, the best time to prepare for the wet seasons ahead. If you’ve had water in the past, chances are it will happen again when the water table rises.

Should you call a professional?

Hydrostatic water pressure pushing against your foundation walls can enter into your home if your drains are not functioning. Settling, plus seasonal freezing and thawing can contribute to or open up existing cracks in the foundation that could leak. If you have a finished basement, you may not be able to see any problem areas, but you’ll probably notice a musty smell or feel heavy or damp air as you walk down the stairs. You may also notice discoloration on concrete walls or floor where water may have entered. Even worse, you may notice extra ground water around the perimeter of your home or flooding inside. This could be a sign of blocked or broken weeping tiles, and a definite sign you should contact the experts.

Interior or exterior waterproofing ?

Simple interior cracks and gaps can be filled with a polyurethane resin. Interior or “negative side waterproofing” is generally done when water has already entered, and you have a wet basement. An interior drainage system may be required to redirect excess water through new pipes to a sump pump. While this work can be completed any time, handling this during a drier season will make the job go faster and more efficiently.

Exterior issues can sometimes be identified and corrected with simple re-grading, or some may require more extensive and disruptive work. Exterior repairs are generally more expensive than interior options though, because of landscaping and other costly expenses. Also, exterior options often do not carry any warranty.

Sump pump installation

One of the most effective and efficient way to help prevent basement leaking is through the installation of proper sump pump and pit. This appliance should be professionally installed in an approved pit in the basement floor. Water is directed through the drainage around the inside perimeter of your basement to the sump pump pit. When the water level rises, it activates the pump to safely move water to an outlet pipe and then outside the home. If your drains are clogged, plugged or non-existent, than this is the perfect time to have an interior drain system installed. It’s a good idea to add a battery back-up unit to protect against power outages during unexpected summer storms. They are well worth the protection they offer.

Preventative maintenance ?

Summertime provides the best opportunity to tackle yard work and exterior maintenance to your home. There’s no better time to clean out your gutters, add extensions if necessary, clean out window wells and ensure storm drains are free of debris. While you’re doing yard work, remember to take the time to observe and ensure that the ground is sloped away from the foundation and not toward it. A few hours of preventative maintenance now will save problems from occurring later. Now go ahead, and enjoy that little bit of summer we have left.