It’s that time of year when that blanket of powdery snow melts into wet slush that soaks the ground and your shoes alike. All this melting snow means an increase in the amount of water in the ground next to your foundation. This explains why your basement or crawl space may have puddles on your floor or condensation building up on your foundation walls. When the water resting in the ground next to your foundation increases, so does the pressure exerted on the foundation wall.

The water wants to escape and often it finds sanctuary in your basement. You might ask, so why does my basement leak? There are many reasons why basements become wet. Here are the 4 Main Reasons Basements Become Wet or Damp:

1. Ground Water Leakage

As mentioned earlier when snow melts the amount of water in the ground increases. The pressure the water puts on your foundation walls also increases. This pressure forces water into your basement through holes, cracks, or joints. This is often what causes puddles and standing water in your basement or crawl space.

Keep your home’s foundation solid

What do you look at as far as foundation problems?

I check the exterior foundation for cracks, evidence of patching, irregularities in the mortar joints. On the interior, again I look for cracks and the evidence of patching. Any crack should be evaluated on the basis of both extent and cause. Most hard construction surfaces will crack. Often, this can be because of thermal or moisture changes and not because the foundation is moving. I discussed cracks with a foundation specialist, and he recommends that if the cracks are over ¼ inch and especially if it is a newer construction, it should be evaluated by a foundation specialist.

What are the most common foundations in our area?

The most common foundations are: stone, poured concrete and concrete block. Every once in a while, I will run across a wood foundation. When I inspect houses with the stone foundations, some buyers have some concern, but really the old stone foundations are a great foundation. You need to keep the stone foundations maintained by sealing the loose rock, repair loose sand and mortar. If you have questions about the stone foundation repairs, call a foundation specialist. With the wood foundation, it is especially important to have the inside checked for moisture penetration, which could indicate moisture penetration in the wood and could cause rot.

Cleaning gutters crucial for homes as heavy rains hit KC

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Stormy weather takes it toll. Sunday’s heavy rain is creating clogged gutters for some homeowners, resulting in a sense of urgency to get them cleared before more rain falls.

When those gutters and downspouts on your home get crowded with debris that falls out of trees, rainwater has to go somewhere. Installation crews from gutter companies in the metro like the Gutter Cover KC are busy cleaning and installing all day long. Company owner Doug Stacye says his company booked 30 appointments on Monday morning alone.

Installing new gutters on a home is an all-day job. Basic maintenance costs a fraction of the time and money, and Stacye says it can save your home from damage. Stacye, who has worked in the gutter business for 16 years, says clean downspouts keep water from pooling in the areas near the foundation of a home.