Dry Tips

Damaged Basement

Hints For a Dryer Basement

One inch of rain falling over one square mile is equivalent to 17 million gallons of water.

What does this mean to you as a homeowner? It means that you must be certain that water is being directed away from your home to avoid water problems in basements and crawlspaces. Here are a few tips to make sure your home is protected:

Clean Your Gutters Regularly

Gutters collect water from the roof and slope toward an exit point called downspouts. If the gutters aren't working, water will flow over or through them and fall next to your foundation. Enough of this water will cause it to filter through the walls and into a basement or crawl space. This creates water seepage or even wall cracking and bowing. Prevent this by:

  • Cleaning your gutters at least twice a year- once in the spring and once in the fall after the leaves have dropped.
  • Checking gutters periodically to make sure they are connected and not leaking.
  • Checking gutters during a heavy rain to make sure water is not flowing over them.

Check Where Your Downspouts Go

Downspouts carry the water away from you home. They may:

  • Run off to surface.
  • Run under the ground, and then to surface.
  • Run to underground to a storm sewer.
  • Run underground to a drywell.
  • Run underground to a catchbasin.

Wherever they go, downspouts should take water safely away from your home. Periodically, you should:

  • Test them by running water through them to ensure they flow.
  • Make sure that water is indeed flowing away from the foundation.

If they do not work or water flows toward the foundation, have them repaired as soon as possible.

Clean Your Lines

If you have underground lines that run to the street, such as a sewer or downspout line, you must keep them clean. You should have them snaked periodically to make sure they are allowing water to flow. If they clog, they'll cause flooding and foundation problems. How often should these lines be cleaned? It depends – for some homes, once a year is adequate; for others, it might need to be done every six months.

Fix Your Grading

To prevent water from accumulating near your foundation, have your lawn graded- sloping at least 2 to 3 inches of drop for every ten feet of distance away from the house.