For those lucky homeowners who have basements, making sure you do everything you can to keep that basement clean and dry is vital for the ongoing stability of your home's foundation and overall safety of your home's environment. A number of nasty diseases can spawn from mold and mildew run amok in your damp basement. Here are some aspects to consider when doing a little basement waterproofing.
- Go straight to the top. Water running off your roof can quickly seep into your basement if proper gutters and drain spouts aren't installed. Gutters that are clogged or missing can cause a waterfall to land right next to the foundation and eventually seep into the basement walls. Check your gutters regularly for clogged areas or leaky spots and take care of the problem fast. You can install a mesh or plastic screen over the gutters to prevent large objects from getting trapped inside.
- Where does your water run? Your yard should slope away from the house so that rainwater is also running away from the foundation and not toward it. If necessary, re-grade your lawn so that it drops about 6 inches for every 10 feet. If the equipment isn't readily available to you, contact a lawn care expert to handle this task.
- Do you have a window well or egress window? During a rainstorm water can easily collect in those wells and act as a holding tank for moisture against your foundation. You should cover those windows wells with a plastic window well cover. These are a few dollars at any local home improvement store.
- Sometimes the water comes from inside. Cut down on condensation and internal moisture by using a dehumidifier. It's also best to insulate your pipes and air conditioning ducts. Basement bathrooms can be a real source of mold and mildew buildup. Clean the bathroom regularly and properly ventilate the room so the moisture doesn't have a chance to collect.
Once you've established that your basement is clean, dry and protected, revisit this area of your home regularly to stay ahead of any new problems that might develop. Your home and family will thank you for it.