Having a plan to waterproof your home’s foundation and basement isn’t just beneficial after water leaks in, but it’s also good to have if you live in areas prone to heavy rain, flooding, or snow. If you live in a geographical area that has a high water table, experiences frost heaves, is near a riverbank or contains soil that frequently has drastic changes in moisture level, then you need a waterproofing plan.
When There Are No Signs of Damage
Even if your foundation and/or basement walls show no outward sign of water damage, it’s still a good idea to take preventive measures. You can make improvements to both the inside and outside of your home, including the grounds, to prevent water from damaging the basement and foundation.
Install a gutter system on the front and back of the house. If existing gutters are falling apart, are twisted or don’t have a downspout, plan to rectify this. Replace improper gutters, keep them clear of obstructions such as twigs and leaves, and install a downspout aimed away from the home’s foundation — one that has a downspout extension ending at least four feet from the house.
If you live in an area with regular heavy rains or flooding, plan to invest in an outside drainage system. This costs more than just installing a sump pump, so you want to budget for it. Schedule the installation when the ground is not frozen. Permits usually are required because of the necessary digging.
For those who live in locations with soil with varying moisture content throughout the year, try to keep the soil at a consistent water level to keep it from repeatedly expanding and contracting. This may mean watering your dirt before it completely dries out.
When There Are Minor Signs of Damage
Minor signs of damage may include a narrow crack in the foundation or along a basement wall, a damp spot, or higher humidity in the basement. If humidity is the only issue and has not caused mold, run a dehumidifier that is the appropriate size for the basement. For a small crack, plan to contact a waterproofing specialist within six months to assess the area. The crack may be small, but the fact it exists means there is water making its way into the basement, and eventually, the crack will widen and additional problems will crop up.
When There Are Significant Signs of Damage
Significant signs of water issues include bowed walls, large and deep cracks, uneven doorjambs and windowsills on all levels of the house, cracked windows and ceilings, sagging floors, and door and window gaps. Once you get to this point, calling a specialist becomes a bit of a necessity. The house is not going to fall apart suddenly, but the water pressure on the foundation has been occurring for a long time, and things will only get worse.
Cracks must be filled, and walls and the foundation will likely need to be supported through helical piers or slabjacking. It’s also important that the specialist you hire be certified in mold remediation, as mold is not always easily spotted. When planning for significant repairs, get estimates. Major repairs may be expensive and you’ll want to plan for any financial constraints.
Some basement waterproofing measures can be taken during the winter, so you don’t necessarily have to plan around family vacations. Contact a waterproofing specialist to determine what should be done and when.
Acculevel Will Help With Your Plans
It’s hard to make a solid plan without knowing exactly what needs to be done to solve your waterproofing issues, but calling an expert should be the first step. We at Acculevel have specialized in basements and foundations since 1996. We believe in honesty and know that very few people have money to burn, so we only do repairs that are necessary. If you live in the Midwest, such as in Indianapolis, and would like an estimate, please contact us at (866) 669-3349 or [email protected].
Five Reasons to Waterproof Your Basement This Winter
How to Waterproof a Basement on the Outside
Assessing Drainage Problems
5 Waterproofing Tips for Ohio River Homeowners
Being Careful When Waterproofing