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5 Waterproofing Tips for Ohio River Homeowners

Living near the Ohio River may provide you with a cooling wind during hot months if you’re close by, but if your basement or foundation isn’t perfectly sealed, you could find yourself wearing flippers and a bathing suit when venturing downstairs if the river floods or there are heavy rains.

Based on its geographical location, the Ohio River is prone to flooding. Floods have ranged from minor to severe, including the 1937 flood that reached 30 miles past the river’s shores. Hopefully, a flood of that magnitude won’t happen again, and the frequent water overflows that may seep into your basement or foundation from heavy rain and the high water table can be thwarted. The experts at family-owned Acculevel have a few suggestions to help you keep your basement and foundation dry and prevent groundwater seepage.

Sealing Cracks

Your basement wall crack may be on the inside or the outside, and be superficial or run all the way through. Even shallow cracks need to be fixed as water eventually will erode the material and make the crack deeper or wider and more unstable. Any sealant used must be waterproof, such as an epoxy designed for concrete sealing.

To prep a poured-concrete basement/foundation crack, use a wire brush to clean the crack of any paint, loose materials or previous sealing or patching compound. It’s best to create what are called “injection points” in the crack, which mark where the epoxy needs to go. Apply the sealer first and let it cure (dry and set) before applying any concrete-repair epoxy via the injection points. When you finish sealing a cracked foundation, apply a layer of waterproof masonry cement to the entire inside surface.

If the walls bulge in places or cracks keep showing up despite attempts to fix them yourself, it’s time to call in a professional company such as Acculevel that specializes in foundation and basement repair. These signs may indicate structural problems with your home.

Sump Pump

An effective sump pump can help keep groundwater from turning your basement into a swimming hole. Drain tile or drain rock collects the water, which then is carried to the sump tank. The tanks should be placed at the lowest point in the basement. Once the groundwater gets to a certain level, the pump will switch on to pump the excess out through a hose or pipe.


Too much moisture can contribute to mold and mildew build-up, which is not good for either your basement walls or your health. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air, and you can purchase a freestanding one that is large enough for your basement’s square footage, or you can have a ducted dehumidifier installed. In this case, “ducted” means the dehumidifier works via ductwork and cannot be moved from place to place in the basement.

Gutters and Downspouts

If your home does not have gutters, it should; if not, rainwater will fall directly where the roof overhang ends. If your home has gutters but no downspout, the gutters aren’t doing you much good. Gutters catch the rainfall off the roof and direct it to the end of the house where, ideally, the water is funneled into the downspout and directed away from the outside of your foundation. Add a downspout extension or splash block to create distance between the exiting flow and your home.

Drainage Systems

While you can optimize both interior and exterior drainage systems, interior systems often are less expensive and less labor intensive. Interior drainage systems involve an internal trench around the foundation perimeter in which a perforated pipe is placed and covered with drain rock. Concrete then seals in the pipe.

Acculevel Wants to Help You Stay Dry

Family-owned and operated since 1996, Acculevel specializes in basements and foundations. We have the expertise and drive to fix cracked foundations, thwart mold growth, seal basement cracks, and stop groundwater from entering your home. We believe in an honest assessment of your needs, and we guarantee our work for one year. If you live in the Ohio River area and want to reclaim your basement or fix your foundation, give us a call at 866-669-3349 or email us at [email protected].

Related Articles:
Five Reasons to Waterproof Your Basement This Winter
How to Waterproof a Basement on the Outside
Being Careful When Waterproofing
How to Find the Right Waterproofing Plan for Your Home

Kelly Kater

Over her twenty year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.

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