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Keep Basement Dry

Outside:

Many, if not most, wet basement problems are due to poor drainage around your home’s foundation, which can be addressed three ways. Getting the drainage around your home remedied is essential for two reasons.

• Gutters and downspouts – your first line of defense is repairing or replacing gutters and downspouts to ensure that water does not pour down into the ground surrounding the foundation. Today’s gutter systems are made from durable vinyl that will not rust or deteriorate. Make sure the gutters are covered with screening to keep out leaves and debris and that the downspouts are directed away from the foundation.

• Drainage – occasionally a downspout cannot be redirected away from the foundation and you may decide to install a drywell. This involves digging a hole, lining it, placing an open-bottomed, perforated plastic barrel into the middle, fitting it with a PVC overflow pipe and attaching it to the downspout. Although the process is simple, it is hard work and will take all day to complete. The hole and the barrel are filled with stone and make sure that the attached downspout slopes into the drywell.

• Ground slope – when the surrounding ground is flat or sloped towards the foundation it causes water to run down along the walls, seeping into your basement. Build up the ground with top soil and plant deep-rooted grass or ground cover since they will protect against erosion.

Inside:

There are inside measure that you can take to keep your basement dry if the problem is not severe, such as flooding.

• Basement walls – these are constructed of cinder block or concrete, which is porous, so they are susceptible to seepage. If the seepage is not severe, you can use a special waterproofing paint to seal off the walls. This can be found at home improvement stores.

• Humidity – set up a quality dehumidifier based on the square footage of your basement. This will help keep the environment fresher and drier.

• Cracks – if you have cracks that will let water in, use a crack repair kit to fill them in. After repairing them, paint the walls with sealant paint.