When people think of basements often the visual comes to mind of a dark, damp, foreboding place. That or of the stereotypical video gamer who lives at his mom’s place. Basements and cellars don’t have to be this mystical place that only the socially awkward can visit without fear. They can be a wonderful addition to any home with the proper renovation. The first place to start is basement waterproofing. Get rid of the dank, moldy smell to instantly revamp the room.
The Shifting Earth
The Earth is constantly changing. Water flows, holes open up in the ground, and dirt settles, causing the foundation of our homes shift, sink, and crack. These cracks can become detrimental to a home’s structure if not immediately remedied. If you notice any cracks larger than one fourth of an inch or stair step cracks along bricks or blocks, you should take action as soon as possible. Even hairline cracks can let in water from under the ground surrounding you home, flooding your basement and leaving you with a huge mess.
Water – – A Destructive Force
We’ve all seen the destructive force of water, whether we’ve experienced it first hand or saw it on the news. Floods are the largest percentages of disasters in America (right above 26% of all insurance claims in 2013), according to the National Flood Insurance Program, with claims reaching over $3 billion each year. If you have a basement, the statistics are not on your side as 98% of homes with cellars are likely to experience water damage. If your home floods before you have some basement waterproofing done, be sure to clean up as much as you can within 2 days to prevent any mold from growing. Also, as much as it may pain you to throw away more money, you’ll want to ditch any towels you used to clean up the mess if they aren’t sterilized within 2 days due to the mold. Sump pumps you may have invested in should be checked for debris blockage, needed repairs, and installation date. Submersible sump pumps only last between five and 15 years, but pedestal sump pumps can last much longer – – anywhere from 25 to 30 years.
Simple Preventative Steps You Can Take
Once the cracks show themselves, there is no better way to repair them aside from basement waterproofing. However, if you don’t see any cracks as of yet, there are a few ways you can help prevent the cracking and ultimate flooding of your basement. Building up the soil around your home to create a downward slope away from your basement can greatly reduce the amount of runoff that finds its way into your cellar. A good rule of thumb is a slope of six inches for every 10 feet of ground. You can also help divert some of that runoff with your plants! Extra trees and plants can help soak up groundwater so there’s less of it to get into your home. Be sure to plant them at least two feet away from your home – – farther if you’re planting trees. Any closer and you’ll be repairing foundation problems.
Hopefully, if you have some damage to your foundation, you’re able to get some basement waterproofing work done quickly by fixing basement leaks and repairing foundation cracks to avoid any problems you may have in the future. After all, no one wants a wet basement!