If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to improve your home, there are several ways you can do so. Regular maintenance and preventive measures are vital to having a solid foundation and basement walls. Not only is a good foundation important for comfortable living, but it also increases the resale value of your home.

Annual Inspections

Knowing how your foundation should look helps you identify when things change. Inspect the basement walls and foundation for any cracks, other damage, or signs of insect infestation every few months. Check both the inside and the outside. Cracks that begin on the inside eventually could reach the outside and vice versa. Hire a specialist to repair all cracks.

Soil Moisture

Extremely dry or extremely wet soil causes damage to foundations via expansion and contraction. If you live in an arid environment during the summer, try to keep the moisture level consistent. Underground water systems are available but may be pricey. A sprinkler system or a rock bed around the foundation is a bit more economical.

Landscaping

To prevent roots from pressing against the foundation, plant shrubbery, and flowers at least two feet away from the foundation. Plant trees 15 to 30 feet away, depending on how large they will grow and how much moisture they require. Raised flowerbeds look nice, but they collect moisture, which seeps down to the foundation. Stick to flat flowerbeds that are sloped away from the house. To help stop large tree roots from pressing on the concrete, install a root barrier.

The land around your home should be graded; that means it should slope away from the house at a slight angle so water flows in that direction. If you can’t slope the ground, consider a moisture barrier.

Foundation Drainage Systems

Experts can install drainage systems inside and outside a foundation. An external sub-surface drainage system generally requires a permit for digging. Part of a good drainage system is effective gutters. Gutters should be clear and include a downspout that empties out at least four feet from the foundation. Install downspout extensions to angle the flow of water away from the house.

An internal drainage system may include a sump pump. If you have a sump pump, check it every six months to make sure it still works. Purchase a backup non-electrical pack in case the power goes out.

Fix Damage as Soon as Possible

Don’t wait to repair basement problems — procrastination here is not like the procrastination of a paint job. Whatever you can afford to fix, get it repaired. Small cracks may run deeper than you think. Even if they don’t, if left alone, they will get deeper and longer, potentially leading to more severe structural damage.

If you haven’t seen any cracks or the basement walls aren’t bowed but you have seen unlevel doorjambs and windowsills, sagging floors, cracked ceilings, or stuck doors, the foundation likely has damage. A shifting foundation causes all these issues. A waterproofing and foundation expert will tell you if you need more complex repairs such as slabjacking or helical pier installation.

Basement Problems? Acculevel Has You Covered

Whether you have issues with cracks in the foundation, bowed basement walls, or mold growth, Acculevel can handle it. Our experts have the skills and experience to assess basement problems and provide you with solutions. We are a family owned and operated business, and we don’t believe in price gouging. We use quality materials and are certified mold remediators. If you live in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, or Michigan and would like an honest analysis of what needs to be done to make your home waterproof, schedule an appointment by calling us at (866) 669-3349 or emailing [email protected].

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