Preventing Water Damage to Your Home

Thunderstorm and hurricane season is fast approaching so take preparation and protect your home from potential water damage.

Do you have a basement or other lower level space that floods during strong summer storms? Are you tired of cleaning up after every storm and worrying about your belongings getting ruined? Are you troubled by unhealthy mold and mildew buildup? Then waterproof your space!

Water damage from storms can ruin belongings, allow for the growth of dangerous mold, and greatly reduce the value of your property. Even if you think you only have minor cracks or minor leakage, these can easily turn into major disasters by causing foundation instability. Waterproofing should be used on foundations as well as exterior items such as decks and older doorways and windows. There are multiple waterproofing options to choose from to protect your home and basement from water damage. These options often work best when used together for maximum protection against damage.
One solution to an existing water leakage problem is to seal any cracks in the walls and foundation with construction-grade epoxy or polyurethane. Generally, like all other waterproofing solutions, an experienced technician should be consulted. Another more simple solution is to manage the source of the water by regularly cleaning your gutters and checking that they are free of debris. It is important to make sure that the downspouts drain away from the home on a slight slope and that the water discharges at least 5 feet away from your foundation. Similarly, plantings should be located at least 12 inches away from the foundation so that their roots cannot create a path for surface water to flow down to the foundation.

Another solution is to install a sump pump. A sump basin collects excess water and when the water level in the basin rises too high, the pump turns on and draws the water out, discharging it outside and away from the house. Even if you have an existing sump pump it is more than likely builder grade and could stand to be replaced. Making sure you have the correct size sump pump for your home is crucial. If your pump is too small it may not keep up with the amount of water coming in and get overworked from running constantly. On the other hand, a pump that is too large will pump water so quickly that the pump will short cycle which greatly decreases its life cycle. It is also important to have a sump pump that has a battery back-up. You never know when your home’s power will be lost, therefore shutting down your sump pump, and if it’s during a tropical storm or hurricane you’ll be out of luck. A battery back-up sump pump will automatically turn on until the power is restored, keeping your home flood free and giving you peace of mind. Keep in mind, the water in a sump pump needs to be directed away from the foundation, otherwise it may drain right back into your home.
More laborious waterproofing options include changing the grade of the yard to slope away from the house or installing perimeter drains. Around the perimeter of your home, the ground closest to the foundation should be graded away from the house to prevent surface water from entering. In the first 10 feet closest to the house, the soil should slope a minimum of 6 inches downward to keep water from seeping into the foundation or flooding the surrounding landscape. Additionally, you can install a perimeter drain, also referred to as a French drain, which consists of a system of perforated piping which is installed at the base of the foundation and runs along its entire perimeter. Perimeter drains are located in depressions in the ground that are filled with gravel or other compact aggregate. This drainage system redirects surface and ground water away from the house, preventing water penetration of or damage to building foundations. For both of these solutions it is best to contact an experienced professional.

Before starting any basement or other remodeling project, find ways to keep the water out. You want to protect your investments, whether they are newly built or still just a dream at this point. Why spend all of this money, time, and effort for it to be damaged by one storm and have it all gone in an instant?

Protect your investments, make your home a healthy living space, and give your family peace of mind. Prevent water damage from ruining your home and start dreaming about what you want your space to become.

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