Spring is a wonderful time of year! Warm weather and blooming flowers are a great excuse to invite friends and family over for cookouts, pool parties and other fun activities.
With spring can also come heavy rain. For many unfortunate homeowners, spring showers will result in a flooded basement, swampy crawl space and even foundation damage. The truth is, a lot of homeowners spend time focusing on cosmetic spring maintenance and ignore the importance of controlling water flow around their home.
Fortunately, you can help prevent costly repairs by performing simple home maintenance. Here are some easy steps to keep your home dry this rainy season.
A Healthy Drainage System Goes a Long Way
If you notice pools of standing water or areas that always seem to be damp around your lawn, you might have a drainage issue. Poor drainage can damage your yard, landscaping and plants. It also serves as a breeding ground for mosquitos. It’s important to address a drainage problem early-on, before it becomes a serious headache. Here’s how:
Clean your gutters. Make sure your gutters are free from debris so water flow is not obstructed. You might want to consider installing gutter guards for added protection. If you need new gutters we recommend choosing aluminum. Aluminum fights rust, it’s durable, and it comes in a variety of colors.
Check downspouts. Gutters and downspouts work together to keep excess water away from your foundation. Check to make sure your downspouts are properly connected and extend at least 5 feet away from your home. If not, consider installing downspout extensions. Running water away from the base of your home can prevent foundation cracks and wet basement problems.
Make sure your yard is sloped. Creating a gradual slope to your yard that directs water away from your home will help protect your foundation from pooling rainwater and can prevent leaks in your basement.
Keeping Your Basement or Crawl Space Dry
Spring showers can expose an unprotected basement or crawl space to moisture. Moisture leads to harmful mold growth, creates strange smells and attracts insects. Leaks can also damage valuables and compromise your home’s foundation. Address water intrusion before it becomes a major problem. Here’s how:
Give your sump pump a checkup. We’ve seen shoddy sump pump motors fail in as a little as 5 years, so make sure yours is ready for a wet spring.
After unplugging your sump pump, remove any debris from the sump pump basin and water intake. You will also want to test the float switch to make sure it isn’t stuck.
Next, you should run a stress test on the motor and check the discharge pipe to make sure it is clear. Flood the sump pump basin with a bucket of water to see how the system reacts. If the motor appears to stress or the discharge pipe backs up, call a technician. It may cost you a few bucks now, but it’s better than dealing with a flooded basement down the road. We highly recommend incorporating a secondary, battery back-up sump pump in case of an outage.
Waterproof your basement or crawl space. If you’ve experienced a flooded basement or crawl space in previous years or notice cracks in your basement walls, it might be time to consider waterproofing. A proper waterproofing system will help keep your basement or crawl space dry and protect your home’s foundation. It will also allow you to reclaim the space for everyday use.
Dealing with dampness. Basements and crawl spaces are vulnerable to rain which can result in dampness. Damp conditions attract bugs and create uncomfortable humidity inside your home. Consider installing a dehumidifier to improve indoor air quality and reduce your energy costs as the days get hotter.
Many problems can be prevented by taking simple precautions while others may require a more complicated approach. If you are experiencing difficulty resolving a foundation, basement, crawl space or drainage issue let us know on Facebook, we’d be glad to help you troubleshoot.