When you suspect that water is getting into your basement or affecting your home’s foundation, it’s time to take action — or not. We’ve compiled a list of “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to waterproofing your home.
It is important to seek professional assistance as soon as you see something that indicates that water is affecting your foundation or basement walls. You might notice hairline cracks, wide cracks, water spots, a mildew smell, or bowed walls. Any of these signs indicate damage from waterproofing problems. Don’t delay in getting the issue identified and repaired. The longer you wait, the more damage will occur.
Water leakage and pressure are major problems. Any repairs done must be done correctly. Yes, you can watch a video on the internet that tells you how to fill cracks, but it likely won’t be a correct or thorough explanation. When you DIY foundation problems, you risk making the problem worse.
Never hire a basement or foundation specialist based on price. If the least-expensive estimate is from the best company, fantastic. However, you should thoroughly vet any company you are considering. Get estimates. Get referrals from friends and neighbors, and don’t hire anyone who pushes you to make a snap decision or who is not a specialist. This means no general contractors, as they do not specialize in foundations.
Try to find the source of the water problem. Sometimes, it’s easy to find. It might be a leak around a pipe or near a windowsill, or it could be a broken sump pump. If you know the source, it makes it easier to know when a company is being honest with you about the problems.
Do Be Proactive
There are things you can do to mitigate the water pressing against your home’s foundation. Install gutters that have downspout extensions. Angle the extensions away from the house and keep the gutters clear. Gutters should empty at least four feet from the foundation.
If you live in an area with snow during the winter, keep as much of your roof clear of snow as possible. This will prevent ice dams from forming. Ice dams allow melting snow to drip off the roof down to the foundation.
Make sure your landscaping is optimal for keeping water away from the foundation. Soil should be graded. This means your yard should slope at a slight angle away from the house so water runs away from the foundation. Do not plant trees or shrubs right next to the house as the roots can shift the soil and allow water to flow into empty soil pockets. This creates pressure and shifting, which can crack the foundation and allow water into the basement.
Invest in a dehumidifier to decrease the water content in the air. Less air moisture reduces the risk of mold and mildew. A sump pump may help if your basement tends to flood. Splurge on a battery-powered backup in case the power goes out. Although these recommendations help with existing water, you still have water origins that need to be addressed.
Do Hire a Pro Such as Acculevel
Looking for expertise? Acculevel has it in spades. We began specializing in basement and foundation repair in 1996, including waterproofing. If you live in the Midwest, we want to be one of the companies you call for an estimate. We value honesty and we never overcharge. Let our experts look at your basement to see what needs to be done. If nothing needs to be done, we will tell you that; we never recommend repairs or additional work that isn’t necessary. If you live in the Midwest and are looking for an honest assessment, call us at (866) 669-3349 or email us at [email protected].