Water in your basement is hazardous to the integrity of the foundation of your home and can cause mold and mildew to develop causing health problems later on. Cleaning and checking the gutters of your home is a preventive measure that many homeowners do not find very important. Making sure that the downspouts drain the water away from the foundation of your home can help you prevent water from seeping into the basement. Using dehumidifiers in the basement to keep humidity low can help prevent mold grow. Taking preventive measures to ensure your basement stays dry, can help you in the future.
After ridding their basements of water from this summer’s endless rains, central Ohio homeowners are embarking on another task: keeping the water from coming back.
The first steps to a dry basement, experts say, should be taken outside the house.
“Ninety times out of 100, the problem can be found on the outside,” said Jeremy Chapman, owner of Chapman Drainage on the West Side.
The most common reason basements leak is that water isn’t pulled away from the foundation by proper landscaping and a functioning gutter and drainage system.
“If the water makes it into the gutter and makes it to the drainage system and out into the street, the basement’s probably going to be dry,” Chapman said.
Homeowners must make sure gutters are property installed and free of debris and that downspouts take water away from the house, ideally through an underground system that empties water into the street or directly into a sewer.
Ryan and Allyson Smith’s ranch-style home in Hillsdale didn’t lie in a flood zone, and the basement didn’t have a sump pump. But “we knew that we had an issue,” Ryan Smith said.
During heavy rains, puddles would appear in parts of the basement, coming up from the baseboard molding, Smith said of the home built in 1954. “We never really found the actual source of it. We just knew it would continue to happen.”
Homeowners have been dealing with wet basements — well, since there have been basements. Water can seep in from cracks in the foundation walls or trickle in from runoff or because of poor property grading. Hydrostatic pressure can push water up through the floor.
Ways to waterproof basements range from a simple sump pump to sealants and vapor barriers to high-tech drainage systems.
The trick is finding the best fit for your home and for your budget.