1 The Ultimate Guide To Protecting Your House From Water In The Basement
2 Table of Contents 3 Causes of Water in the Basement!... 3 Reason Number 1: Poor Grading!... 3 Reason Number 2: Improper Drainage!... 3 Reason Number 3: Foundational Problems! Solutions for Water Problems in the Basement!... 5 Solving Grading and Soil Problems!... 5 Dealing with Improper Drainage!... 5 Fixing Up the Foundation!... 6 How to Prevent Water from Getting in the Basement!... 7 The Perimeter of Your Home!... 7 Waterproof the Walls!... 8 How to Drain Water from Your Basement!... 9 Problem: Condensation!... 9 Problem: Flooding or Leakage from Structural Issues!... 9 Problem: Sump Pump Maintenance!... 10
3 3 Causes of Water in the Basement Nobody likes a wet basement. Water in your basement is not just annoying; it can also ruin carpeting and drywall, or completely buckle your hardwood floors. Believe it or not, there are actually more reasons than you might think for finding water in your basement. Reason Number 1: Poor Grading Poor grading basically means that your soil is unstable. Water can get in for any number of reasons when it comes to poor grading. If your home is on a flat lot, then you have a real challenge when it comes to grading. With your house situated on flat ground, it can be extremely difficult to divert water away from your home. It can be even more complicated to attempt to remove water when the ground slopes toward your home, because in that case, water is being directed right into your basement. You should also consider the type of soil that surrounds your home. Poor soil can actually have an enormous effect on your home s ability to divert water away from the basement, especially during hurricane season. For example, if you have clay or nonporous soil sloping toward the house, then it will not absorb water as it runs toward the building leaving you with a wet basement. Reason Number 2: Improper Drainage Drainage is a huge issue when it comes to reasons why your basement might be flooded. If your gutters and downspouts are not working or, even worse, if they are missing, then they are not doing their job of diverting rainwater away from your home. Additionally, if your downspouts are missing extensions or splash blocks, then they are even worse than having no downspout at all, because they are sending torrents of water directly toward your basement. The enormous amount of rainwater that your downspout collects from your roof
4 becomes concentrated in a single location leaving your basement damp or, in extreme cases, even flooded. It s crucial to have your drainage checked on an annual basis, especially before hurricane season hits the east coast. When heavy rain and storms hit New Jersey during hurricane season, the drainage surrounding your home could be the make-or-break difference between a basement that floods and one that doesn t. Consider, too, whether your heating ducts are installed underneath the floor slabs of your basement. If this is the case, then your basement s drainage system may be higher up than the duct itself so the heating duct collects water. This is not only annoying but can also pose serious health risks due to the potential for mold contamination. Reason Number 3: Foundational Problems Finally, your basement may simply have issues with its foundation, causing leaks. If the foundation of your home is constructed from concrete or concrete block, it may be prone to cracking. This can happen when the floor joists are not well anchored to the foundation, which allows the wall to move around. The moving wall, of course, creates cracks in the foundation. Concrete foundations are more prone to cracking and causing leaks. Remember how much of a problem soil can be? Poor soil is not only a factor in your property s grading; it can also cause cracking in your foundation. When loose soil settles, cracks can form. Places where walls meet rigid structures such as fireplaces are also prone to cracking in cases like these. Furthermore, hurricane season will not only damage the coastline, but create problems for the soil throughout New Jersey as well. In other words, the patterns of the weather will naturally take its toll on the quality and strength of soil.
5 3 Solutions for Water Problems in the Basement If you have water problems in your basement, then there is no doubt you are looking for helpful solutions. Well, not to worry. There are a number of simple things you can do to solve the problem of water in your basement, especially in the midst of hurricane season, when flooding is often at its worst. Solving Grading and Soil Problems If your problem is poor grading or soil, then your solution is a pretty simple one. In the case of poor grading, if the ground around your foundation is level or improperly sloped so that water runs toward your house, then what you need to do is find a way to divert water away from your foundation. Simply put, placing earth around your house so that you create a manmade slope away from your foundation is the best way to start. Using a minimum slope of one inch per foot for six feet or more is best. This can serve as a solution during normal rainfall and during a hurricane or heavy storm as well. Dealing with Improper Drainage When it comes to problems with your gutters or downspouts, you may be dealing with terrible drainage. This means that your gutters and downspouts are sending water right into your basement, instead of doing their job to make sure that water is diverted away from your basement. The problem is especially exacerbated during a hurricane, when torrential rain hammers relentlessly throughout the larger area. Fortunately, the solution for this common problem is simple enough. You should have at least one downspout per 50 feet of roofing. If one seems insufficient, then you may feel that more downspouts are necessary. Your downspouts also must have Climate Plus
6 extensions in order to work properly. The extensions on your downspouts should absolutely be discharging water several feet away from the walls of your house four feet is a good bet, but more may be called for. Additionally, you can solve many drainage problems by implementing concrete sidewalks around the basement, especially if they are sloped away from the house. Fixing Up the Foundation If your foundation is defective and cracking, then you may have a bigger problem than you can handle alone. Nevertheless, your wet basement problems could benefit from better connections between the walls of your foundation and the structure on top of it. This may require anchor bolts or straps, or perhaps floor joists, either of which should be attached or nailed to the sill plate. The best way to solve many of these basement problems is through The best way to solve many of these basement problems is prevention. through prevention. Making improvements to your foundation, or if you are building a house, ensuring that your foundation is built properly to begin with, may help you keep the joints in your home s masonry from cracking and letting water into your basement. Since hurricanes bring great rain to the east coast, it s important to remember that water and soaked soil can create further damage on a weakened foundation. Of course, in many cases, you may not feel comfortable implementing solutions yourself. Not all of these solutions may be for you, and some could even be very difficult to implement. Additionally, if you have tried everything and it still seems like there is no hope for your basement s water problem, there is no need to worry. The experts at Climate Plus are always ready and willing to provide professional help and advice as far as what steps you should take to solve your basement s water problems.
7 How to Prevent Water from Getting in the Basement Your basement is, without a doubt, a very useful space in your house. It may be furnished, may even be its own separate apartment, or it could simply be a valuable area for storage space. In fact, many New Jersey residents even use their basement as a safety area in the midst of a tornado warning or passing hurricane. Whatever the case, you definitely want to make sure that you keep your basement from getting damp. It can damage the items you have stored there, and it can also create problems such as mold that can affect the whole house. Luckily, there are a series of steps you can take to waterproof your basement. The Perimeter of Your Home The first thing you want to do is an evaluation of your home. Certain issues that are occurring around the perimeter of the building may well be causing your wet basement problems. For example, if the ground around your home is flat or slopes toward your home, it may be diverting rainwater around your foundation and into your basement without you realizing it. By making sure that the ground slopes away from your home you will already be well on your way to keeping your basement dry, especially during heavy downpours that can occur during hurricane season on the east coast.
8 Next, do a check up on your drainage. If your downspouts are not discharging water 5 feet or more away from your home, they may be sending water directly into the ground and toward your basement. Finally, look out for all the various shrubs and plants that you have around the perimeter of your home. Of course, these may be perfectly functional or ornamental, but their roots can cause surface water to flow down into the ground by your foundation by creating tiny paths when it rains. You want your plants to be one or more feet away from your home. Waterproof the Walls One great way to help prevent water from getting in is to use a product that locks water out. This is especially effective for minor leaks that do not actually occur that often. These kinds of products are called waterproofers, and they dry to themselves to become part of the wall. They will bond with the surface of the wall and help keep groundwater from coming in. Waterproofing the walls can also entail sealing in some of the larger, more visible cracks that you find. If you see a crack, you can use products that will seal cracks in the masonry, or inject high-quality epoxy in order to fill up all of the space that has been created by the cracking. In cases like these, you may want to enlist the help of an expert, who can provide a far more reliable result than doing it yourself. These waterproofing and water sealing solutions can, however, fail in particular cases, such as if the groundwater is underneath the floor of your basement. In addition to circumstances such as these, groundwater can cause significant water pressure. Waterproofing your home will provide a structural solution all year long. Whether it s the melting snow in winter, the thunderstorms of spring, or the hurricane season that dominates the fall, waterproofing will help protect your home from the water elements throughout the year. If Waterproofing your home will provide a structural solution all year long
9 waterproofing the walls isn t working, then it s time to move on to the next solution. As always, if you have any questions or need assistance with preventing water problems in your basement, the experts at Climate Plus are always available to provide the best assistance. How to Drain Water from Your Basement If you come across the unfortunate situation of a leaky, damp, or even flooded basement, don t panic. If your basement is wet, there are many reasons that this may be occurring, but the main problem is that water is breaking in from the foundation, whether from torrential rain or from the ground. There are a number of steps you can take to fix this problem. Problem: Condensation This is an easy one. You may not have water coming in at all; rather, it could be the case that the air in your basement is warm and the walls and floors are cool. This causes condensation, or sweating, which makes your walls sticky with water droplets or can even cause more severe effects like puddles on the floors. Condensation can be fixed by simply airing out your basement. Try opening the windows intermittently. Additionally, by purchasing and installing a dehumidifier, you can ensure that your basement will be even drier. Problem: Flooding or Leakage from Structural Issues If you have a large amount of water in your basement due to flooding, a hurricane, or even a persistent problem with water leaking in, then you have a much more serious issue than simple temperature and humidity control. As a matter of fact, you may even need to rent or purchase a sump pump. Climate Plus
10 A sump pump is the main attraction when it comes to any waterproofing project for basements. It is a type of pump that is used to remove water that has accumulated due to basement flooding or a chronic issue where the water table is located above the base of a home s foundation. Sump pumps are a great option for automatically sending water away from the basement to a place where the water will not cause issues, such as to a dry well or storm drain. They are especially helpful if your basement is flooded from the sudden waters of a hurricane or severe storm. Problem: Sump Pump Maintenance If you already have a sump pump and your basement is still flooding or experiencing some dampness or poorly diverted leakage, then the problem may be with the sump pump itself. If you have not examined your sump pump in a number of months, then it could be time to take a look at how it is running. Because it is a mechanical device, it could be running into any number of issues. The first step for a problematic sump pump is to first check out what may be the issue. If you remove the sand, dirt, gravel, and other debris that may have collected and it is still failing, it may be time to get it professionally inspected. Additionally, implementing the use of a second sump pump could do wonders to help drain your basement. Some of these solutions may not be enough for your basement. If you have more water in your basement than you can handle alone, you may well need professional assistance. If this is the case, there is no need for concern. The experts at Climate Plus can help you with your wet basement troubles by providing professional help at an affordable price.
11 If you need help with water problems in your basement contact Climate Plus and one of our Home Comfort Experts will be available to assist you
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