5 Simple Steps To Prevent Basement Leaks

Many people dread going into their basements because they are dark, dank and musty. The culprit for the dankness and mustiness of many basements is a leak either in one particular place or several leaks throughout the basement. We will discuss some steps on how can we prevent a basement from being leaked.


How To Prevent a Basement From Leakage

A basement can be used in many ways if it is taken care of properly. Leakage in basement destroys the environment of the basement and it becomes impossible to use it efficiently. Here are 5 steps we can do to prevent basement leaks.

how to prevent basement water leaks
basement leaks – prevention is better


#1 Unclog Gutters

Gutter systems on a house whisk the rainwater away from the home so that it does not saturate the ground near the foundation. Keep them free of debris such as leaves and twigs that can block them and allow the water to run over and down rather than away. It is a good idea to install leaf guards and downspout extensions to redirect water at least ten feet from the house.

unclog the gutter - prevent basement leak
unclog the gutters

#2 Pitch of Surrounding Soil

Make certain that the soil that surrounds the home is pitching away from the house rather than towards it. The general rule is a slope of at least ¼ inch per foot so the water will drain away from the foundation and into the yard. If your soil pitches toward the house, add soil and rake it smooth until the grade is the highest at the house’s perimeter.


#3 Keep Shade Trees Away

Shade trees with large or aggressive roots will grow underneath foundations and break them up. Silver maples are such shade trees that have aggressive roots. These types of trees need to be planted at least 20 feet from the foundation of the house. Trees with smaller root systems can be planted about 10-15 feet from the foundation of the house.

plant shade trees away from house for prevention of basement leakage
plant shade trees in distance


#4 Replace Window Wells

The window wells are the exterior dugout that allows the window to sit below grade. They have a tendency to funnel rainwater against the foundation and the water then seeps along the foundation until it finds a crack or seam to rest in.

window wells
window wells – example 1
window wells
window wells – example 2

The more water that runs into the crack or seam, the more pressure on the wall and that creates leaks in the basement. It is best to cover the window wells with a clear, plastic well cover. These keep the water out but allows for sunlight to still come through.


#5 Seal Damp Walls in Basement

Water will sometimes seep through the pores that are naturally formed in foundation walls or basement floors. It is easy to tell if water is seeping through the pores because there will be a white powder left behind when the water dries. Use a commercial grade sealer and seal all the walls as well as the floor. It is always best to apply two coats of sealant. Be sure to follow label instructions when applying and vent the area well.

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