Four Mistakes That Often Lead To Wet Basements

Construction & Contractors Blog

Nobody wants water in their basement. There's not a lot you can do about some causes of major flooding, like a natural disaster that drops feet of rain within weeks. However, there are a lot of mistakes that homeowners regularly make that result in water accumulation in the basement. Even a fraction of an inch of water can lead to mold growth and materials damage, so you're best off avoiding these common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not caring for or angling your gutters properly.

Your gutters are designed to funnel water away from your home so it does not just leech down around your foundation and end up in your basement. Sadly, many gutters are not as effective as they should be. If you don't clean your gutters twice a year, they're likely to get clogged with leaves and other debris, causing water to overflow their edges and end up right where you don't want it -- down the side of your home and foundation. 

Angling your downspouts properly is important, too. If they are pointed towards your foundation or they are not long enough, you could end up with water in your basement. Also, repair any leaks in your gutters promptly so that the water does not drip straight down.

Mistake #2: Not cleaning your AC condensate pipe.

Your air conditioner produces condensation as it runs. This condensation is meant to collect in a special pipe and then be directed into a drain. But if the pipe becomes clogged with debris and mold, which is more common than you might think, the condensation can start dripping out onto the floor.

If you see debris in your condensate pipe, place a shop vac over the end of the pipe to suck it out. Then, add about a cup of household bleach to the condensate compartment on your air conditioner. This will get sucked into the tube and will sanitize it, killing the mold and helping to prevent future clogs.

Mistake #3: Letting pipes freeze.

This one does not just lead to a few puddles -- it can completely flood your basement. When pipes freeze, the water inside them expands, which can cause the pipes to then burst and leech water all over the place. There are a few ways to keep pipes from freezing in the winter:

  • Place a layer of insulation over each exposed pipe that you see.
  • Leave doors throughout the home open so that heat flows evenly and keeps your pipes warm.
  • Turn faucets on at a trickle on really cold days. The flow of the water keeps it from freezing.

Mistake #4: Not repairing little cracks in your foundation.

Small cracks may not be a threat to the integrity of your foundation, but this does not mean you should not have them repaired. All it might take is one big rain storm, and suddenly water will be seeping in through that crack.

If you notice a crack in your foundation, a basement waterpoofing and foundation repair company should be able to fill it for you. Keep in mind that if you do this when the crack is still small, the charge will be lower than if you wait until the crack widens. Usually, all that's required for repairing a small crack is to fill it with concrete, though they may also do some finishing look to make the results look more attractive.

If you can avoid making the mistakes above, your chances of dealing with water in your basement will be much lower. If you do notice water in your basement, even if it's a small amount, contact a waterproofing company to take care of the issue before you're also left to deal with mold.

Visit a site like http://www.centralpennwaterproofing.com for more info on waterproofing measures.

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