Ah, springtime. The birds begin chirping, the flowers start blooming and your basement… starts leaking? After all, the melting snow has to go somewhere!
Basement water leaks are a consistent source of stress for those living in places with cold winter climate. If you want to avoid the nightmare of a sopping-wet basement floor this spring, we have 5 essential inspections you should be doing to ensure that your basement is completely waterproof.
#1 Check your sump pump
A properly functioning sump pump is one of the best lines of defense against water leakage. Unfortunately, many homeowners won’t notice a problem with their sump pump until it’s too late.
To test your sump pump, slowly pour a bucket of water into the basin and listen for the pump to activate and do its job. If you don’t have a sump pump, you should consider getting one as soon as possible, since they can be a genuine lifesaver in springtime.
#2 Inspect your foundation walls
If you notice water has leaked onto your basement floor, one of the most likely culprits is a crack in your interior foundation wall. These very common but often neglected cracks allow water to easily infiltrate your basement during the spring.
While some hairline foundation cracks can be harmless, it is always worth having any alarming cracks inspected, especially if they are horizontal. You can then proceed with a professional foundation crack repair that could save you thousands in potential future costs if the problem is left untreated.
#3 Keep an eye out around windows
Windows and window wells are another highly common entry point for water. If you notice any dark staining on your foundation walls near your window, there is a good chance that water has leaked through the window frame.
The other possibility is a defective window well drainage system. Be sure to regularly clear any debris away from your window well and if you notice any water pooling, you might have a faulty well on your hands. Waterproofing your windows and will help ensure your basement stays dry and moisture-free.
#4 Investigate your gutters and downspouts
The next spot to check to ensure a waterproof basement this spring is your gutters and downspouts. If these become clogged with debris, water can flow down onto your foundations and creep into your basement (especially if you have untreated cracks in the foundation).
Use a ladder to inspect your downspouts to make sure that they aren’t blocked and that water is flowing safely away from your foundations. You can ensure this even more effectively by installing a downspout extension.
#5 Look out for land grading issues
Land grading is probably the most overlooked issue when performing waterproofing checks for your basement. Essentially, when your ground slopes towards your foundation, water can easily gather at the base and leak in.
Take a stroll around your house during or after it rains for an extended period of time and check for any water accumulation near your foundations. If you notice any, you will have to add soil until the slope is directed away from your home.
Nobody likes a leaky basement. Not only can it cost you exorbitant sums of money to fix, but it can lead to things like mold growth that become a serious health problem over time. Make sure you perform these 5 spring inspections to guarantee a waterproof basement and peace of mind.