Homeowners can help prevent water seepage into the basement just by following some simple home maintenance tips. Remember, the main reason water seeps into the basement in the first place is excess water in the soil around and under the foundation of the house. If you do your part to prevent as much water from building up near the foundation, you can help prevent seepage and leaks.
Seepage is when water comes through the foundation walls or up through the basement floor. Leaks are water coming through gaps, cracks, and holes in the foundation wall. Common leak spots are around basement windows and window wells, through gaps around drains and sump pits, at the cove where the concrete floor meets the foundation wall and through foundation cracks.
To prevent basement seepage and leaks follow these four home maintenance tips:
Gutters and downspouts are important. They keep the rainwater from dumping right next to your foundation wall. That is why they exist. If you don’t have gutters, get them. If you have them, keep them clean and maintain your gutters. Clogged or broken gutters and downspouts can be just as bad as not having any at all. Maintaining your gutters and downspouts will help prevent basement seepage and leaks for sure.
2.) Landscaping and Grade
Your landscaping and grade slope should always slope away from the foundation. Water finds the path of least resistance and follows the slope. If you have a yard sloping toward your foundation, you will create a problem for yourself. If the landscaping next the foundation wall is angled toward the foundation, it will create a channel to collect water and actually cause basement seepage. Eliminate this threat by making sure that your soil and grade by the foundation is properly compacted sloped away from the foundation.
3.) Yard Drainage
Exterior yard drainage is also important to channel water away from the foundation. If your rainwater doesn’t have anywhere to go it can collect in your yard and cause hydrostatic pressure problems. Hydrostatic pressure can cause water seepage, leaks, foundation cracks, and other serious structural damage. Proper French drains and drainage in the yard as well as at the driveway will help prevent water buildup.
4.) Snow Drifts
During the snowy winter never shovel snow into a pile by the foundation wall. Even though it seems natural to shovel the driveway into a big pile up against the house, it is not a good idea. Snow is frozen water. Come spring that snow will melt and be like dumping gallons of water into the soil directly by the foundation wall. Actually, 1 cubic foot of snow equals 7.4 gallons of water. That is a lot of water. You can do your part by keeping snow away from the foundation.