Home Maintenance Tips – Wet Basement

Grading & Drainage
Any system of grading or landscaping that creates positive drainage(moving water away from the foundation walls) will help to keep abasement dry. Flowerbeds, loose mulch areas, railroad ties, and other landscaping items close to the foundation trap moisture and contribute to a wet basement. To establish a positive grade, a proper slope away from the house is 1″per foot for approximately 5 to 6 feet. Dirt should be 6″ to 8″ below wood surfaces and/or sill plates. You should also trim back shrubberies that are close to the home.
Defective or missing Gutters & downspouts
Watch for leaks in gutters and downspouts, If your grading is poor, you should have a downspouts with up to 10′ extension.
Also Check both the top and bottom of downspouts for evidence of debris blocking the water.
Dripping water pipes
Condensation or sweating on the pipe in your basement is forming due to the temperature difference between the pipe and the air. This has an easy fix: Just insulate the pipe!
Drain tile issues
If you get water in your basement after heavy rainfall, and your drain tile isn’t draining much water to your sump pump, you should consider having a contractor over to make sure your drain tile is not missing or defected.
Installing an exterior drainage system at an existing building is the most costly, but also the most effective water control approach. This requires digging up the area around the foundation and rebuilding it similar to a new house installation.
Window well
If you have a window well, make sure the base of it is sloping away from the house, not towards the house.
Foundation cracks
Concrete and concrete block foundations usually develop some cracks, and water can seep through the cracks and in to your basement. If you suspect that there is water seeping through foundation cracks, it suddenly became a job for your contractor.
Cracks less than 1/4″ wide, with or without displacement in any direction, are not likely to be signs of serious failure unless they are active.
Cracks over 3/8″ wide should be examined carefully as an indication of a potentially serious problem.
Cracks that are still active should be noted as major defects. Active cracks will have sharp edges, will break a new painted surface or mortar repair. They indicate a failure in progress and a situation that can grow worse. If you have cracks with sharp edges wider than 3/8″,you should have someone looking at your foundation as soon as possible.

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