Although you may never see it, the foundation of a home is a vital aspect to its strength and stability. A proper foundation does more than keep your house above ground: It should also keep out moisture, insulate against the cold and resist movement of the ground surrounding it. There are many factors to consider, such as drainage around your house and soil condition, to help avoid a cracked foundation. The type of soil can have a big impact on the quality and lifespan of your home’s foundation.
Your gutter system is one of the most important parts of your home. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most common things that homeowners forget about until there’s a problem. Don’t let out of sight be out of mind – when your gutter isn’t functioning correctly, it could mean major damage! While waterproofing your basement is a good start, damaged gutters can affect your home’s siding and even the roof if not corrected in time.
So, you have dealt with a wet carpet in your basement. Yuck! It is not one of the most fun parts of being a homeowner. You have probably figured out your exact steps by now of cleaning everything up and getting everything dry. But you are smart, you know there is something more you should do besides just dealing with this wet basement carpet problem you have. You can prevent it from happening in the first place. You’re in the right place, so let’s get right to it!
Your basement is unique to the rest of your home due to the fact it’s surrounded by the ground. When it rains, the water doesn’t just sit above ground. The ground soaks it up thanks to gravity, and the water works its way below the surface. So now you can imagine your foundation being completely surrounded by not only the ground, but water. The good news is, you’re not the only one dealing with water in the basement after heavy rain. The bad news is that it is an issue, but we’ll show you how you can solve it!
Fortunately, basement flooding in the winter is something you can fight back against. Read on to learn how to minimize the risks and keep your basement dry for the rest of this winter and beyond!
Tips to Fight Back Against Basement Flooding in Winter
It’s much easier and more cost effective to prepare your home for potential winter flooding than it is to deal with the emergencies that can come after. Before the snow hits, follow the Team EverDry winter checklist to make sure that you’re prepared.
Inspect Your Basement for Cracks
Concrete in your basement foundations tends to crack over time, and large cracks can lead to water seeping into your basement. These cracks can form from hydrostatic pressure, small shifts in the soil under your home, or many other small reasons that add up over the years.
Before the weather turns cold and wet, check your basement walls for any significant cracks. While small hairline fractures are hard to avoid, you want to pay attention to any crack that’s more significant than a small line – especially if you notice one growing since the last time you saw it! Repair any that you find by drying the crack, scrubbing out any loose concrete, and filling them with epoxy crack sealer.
If you’re not a DIY type, EverDry Toledo can help protect your home with foundation crack injections that will seal the gap to help stop moisture from getting in.
Clean Your Gutters
The value of healthy, functional gutters is something that many homeowners underestimate. They’re on the front line when it comes to defending your home from rain or snow moisture right against the foundation. Working gutters should be capable of capturing any melting snow on your roof and running it far enough from your foundation that it won’t add to pressure that may lead to cracking.
If your gutters have debris in them, it could cause problems like ice dams. These ice dams will let melting snow overflow from the side of the gutters, falling straight down onto the vulnerable sides of your home. The longer this is allowed to happen, the higher your chances of experience basement flooding in the winter.
Clear the Snow
Shoveling snow can feel like a punishment. But it’s a necessary part of keeping your property clear and safe. But when you’re done clearing the driveway, there’s still more to shovel!
Each time you go out to clear snow from your property, don’t forget to check the sides of your home. Snow that’s pressed up near the foundation of your home will eventually melt; the snow melt may happen quickly, putting a lot of pressure on the exterior of your basement.
You don’t need to completely remove the snow. Just do your best to clear a foot or two away from your foundation. This will go a long way towards preventing moisture buildup around your home and to the fight against winter basement flooding!
Protect Your Pipes
It’s no surprise that one of the most common causes of basement flooding in winter involves frozen pipes. Once a pipe experiences a freeze, it will suffer internal pressure that’s looking for a way to get out. Often times, the “escape” for moisture inside a frozen pipe will be bursting inside your basement. The biggest concern? You may not catch it right away!
Water damage happens fast. It only takes minutes to cause thousands of dollars of damage. And the last thing you want in the freezing cold is a lake of ice in your basement!
You can prevent pipe freezing from happening in your home. Take these precautions, especially if the forecast calls for severely cold weather overnight:
- Wrap your pipes with pipe wrap
- Consider a pipe warmer if your home frequently has frozen pipe issues
- Turn faucets on to let a very small drip of warm water out overnight
- Open cabinets in vanities or under your sink to allow the warmer air in your home to reach some of your pipes (Please note to only do this if it’s safe. Many homeowners keep these cabinets closed or locked to prevent animals or children from reaching cleaning chemicals or other dangerous home items!)
Inspect Your Sump Pump
If your home has a sump pump, it needs to stay functional to prevent an overflowing of water into your home. Winter snow melt will eventually lead to an excess of moisture finding its way into your home, so you’ll want your sump pump ready and able to push that water back out of your home.
One unique winter issue for sump pumps is the water in the pump basin freezing over. Keep an eye on your pump and look for issues that may indicate
sump pump failure
Winter here in the Midwest means cold weather, ice, and snow. While this can be great for winter sports like skiing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling, those dropping temperatures outside generally create dropping humidity levels inside.
Owning a home comes with many expenses – some planned, some unplanned. When it comes to protecting your foundation, you may wonder “is basement waterproofing worth it” or should you gamble and wait to repair issues as they happen?
Heavy rains can pour millions to billions of gallons of water in your area. All that water has to go somewhere, and it’s almost assuredly going to include your property. When water starts to reach your home, your sump pump kicks into action – pushing water out of the pit and away from your property. Sump pump failure happens often, and it leaves your home vulnerable to rapid intakes of water.
Water. It is necessary for life. But there are times when it can feel like the enemy. When water is seeping, dripping or gushing into your basement, it is not your friend. So, how can you make sure to defend your home against uninvited moisture and stay on good terms with water when it comes to your foundation? Landscape grading around house foundation is the first line of defense against water and the damage it can cause.
Whether it is heavy rains, spring thawing after deep winter snow, or even a plumbing fiasco, too much water can put you in the position of incurring flooded basement cleanup costs. Knowing that it is likely you will have to deal with excess water in your basement at some point is a good reason to invest in waterproofing your foundation.