Most homeowners understand that when they see water in their basement it signifies a problem that needs repair.
Some may put it off, concerned about cost and inconvenience. Others move ahead but may seek ways to keep the costs in line.
Many basement waterproofing remedies are significant repairs and can be costly but there are ways reducing the cost of basement waterproofing, sometimes by taking steps to prevent seepage, other times by making low cost repairs.
One of the best ways to save money on basement waterproofing is to prevent water from getting into the basement in the first place.
Keeping water out of the basement is all about keeping it away from the foundation because the water that ends up in the basement starts out in the ground around it. The soil immediately surrounding the foundation is particularly vulnerable because it was dug up and backfilled during the original construction of the foundation. This means that the soil is not as highly compacted as the surrounding earth and absorbs water much more easily. When the soil absorbs water it expands, creating pressure against the foundation that can cause cracks and seepage.
The three top low cost ways to do basement waterproofing have to do with keeping this soil from becoming oversaturated.
1. Clean Clogged Gutters – Many homeowners just can’t imagine the amount of water that lands on their roof during a rainstorm – 1500 gallons on the average roof for every inch of rain that falls! A solid, clean rain gutter system on the eaves will collect all this water and carry it off to downspouts (more on those in a minute).
If gutters are dirty, clogged with leaves and other debris or leaking badly, they will allow all that rain water to sheet off the edge of the roof and land right next to the foundation where it will ultimately find its way into the basement. Regular gutter cleaning, usually in spring and fall, or installing a debris shield or screen will keep gutters flowing and rain water out of the basement.
2. Extend Downspouts – The cleanest gutters in the world won’t help keep a basement dry if they flow to downspouts that just dump water next to the foundation. In fact, the problem could be worse because all that rain water will be concentrated in only four or five spots.
Extending downspouts at least ten feet away from the foundation will help rain water discharge bypass the zone of backfilled soil that is vulnerable to saturation. Of course, inexpensive tacked-on extensions from the hardware store may work for a while but they look terrible and are easily knocked loose by kids, dogs and landscapers.
Professionally installed underground extensions will not only be invisible to passers-by but will stay in place permanently. When routed to a bubbler pot or drywell, discharge water will go exactly where the homeowner wants it and will be distributed on or into the ground a little at a time.
3. Manage Water Outside – Rain water also lands on the ground, of course, and that, along with snowmelt, can also find its way into the basement and needs to be managed on the outside. Grading problems that cause water to run back toward the house instead of away from it will saturate soil around the foundation and cause seepage. Similarly, any type of outdoor construction that can hold water close to the house or is improperly sloped to impede runoff, such as planters, edging, retaining walls, decks or patios will also create leaks in the basement.
Fixing these problems by adjusting grade or construction or installing drains can be an economical way to do basement waterproofing.
Some of these methods of low cost basement waterproofing can be done by a talented do-it-yourselfer or handyman but a wise homeowner will take advantage of the advice and assistance of a basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing, we not only know how to get water out of a basement we are experts in making sure it never gets in to begin with. Why not ask for our free advice?
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