Better wet outside than inside

Now that we are in a rainy season, we watch and hope it doesn’t start appearing in our basements.

So you are waiting, wanting to have your basement finished. Or you are looking at a new house purchase and you are wondering what it looks like behind those basement walls.

Is there a way to tell if your basement will leak, or already has a leak that you can’t see?

There is. Yours will.

Just because your basement is surrounded on three or four sides by dirt is enough information to know that it will develop a leak sometime in the future.

Maybe that finished basement wall is already hiding a leak. Maybe not.

Maybe your house will develop a leak before the end of the year. Maybe not.

It’s all kind of a crap shoot, but your basement will leak at some point.

Just look at everything that is going on around your house:

  • You have gutters that can clog or leak and allow water to pour over the edge or come around behind them. That water all goes straight to the foundation of your home.
  • Your landscaping may be channeling water towards your foundation. Maybe it wasn't when your house was first built, sitting up nicely on a little turtle's back. But over the years erosion occurred, maybe from the gutters, maybe just from the lay of the land. It could be water coming from your neighbor's yard. ("I told you they were lousy neighbors")
  • Your down-spouts aren't moving the water far enough away from your house. 10' at the minimum say the professionals. 5' says building code. Your little plastic splashers that came with the house are probably only 3'. See the problem?

And those are just the things going on above ground.

If you have a French drain around the outside of the house it may be clogged, or have had landscaping roots grow through it ripping it up.

It could be coming in from the hydrostatic pressure that forces water up through cracks in the floor, or gaps where the floor meets the wall, or through the basement wall itself.

The problem with water is that it doesn’t know any better. It goes where there is a gap. Add that to the problem with concrete is that is made to crack, and you have a bona fide indoor water problem.

Or will have one.

Ok, so what to do…

A – Keep those gutters clean and in good shape. Keep the leaves off your roof. Have a professional come out and clean those gutter once a year.

B – Extend those down-spouts. Get them out away from the house. 10 ft.

C – If you are going to finish your basement, have a professional water-proofing company come and inspect your house first. Let them do the service that they do so well and give you a little peace of mind.

Will it cost you a little money? Yes.

Will it cost you as much money and headaches than if you don’t do these things. No.

One more thing – some of these things you need to do every year. Add them to your calendar.

Get on it.


Listen to the The Home Fix it Show on New 95.5 and AM750 WSB, Saturdays from 9 am to 12 pm.





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