Nothing is more frustrating and annoying than water in the basement. Water in the basement can cause numerous issues in the home from deterioration in the heating season, electrical panel and circuits, breeding ground for mold and fungous, plus many more. If your basement has been dry, then let’s keep it that way with routine maintenance.
If your home is equipped with a sump pump then we need to test it yearly before the big spring rains come. Lift the float, located in the pit, or pour a bucket of water into the pit to see if the sump turns on and removes the water. It’s better to know if the system is working before the heavy rains hit in the spring. We also need to check the roofs drainage system. Gutters need to be cleaned and clear of debris to allow proper flow of rain water. Make sure the downspouts drain away from the foundation. Downspouts should be extended roughly 3 to 6 feet depending on the slope and lay of the yard/ground of the property. If the downspouts drain onto level or ground sloping back towards the home there is a chance that it will back up into the basement.
Frozen soil or extremely dry soil from a dry spell can also cause water penetration into the basement by allowing easy access for water to run along the foundation of the home. Trees and bushes along the foundation can also allow water to penetrate along the foundation causing damage to the foundation and seepage into the home. Keeping these trimmed back and properly pruned is also recommended. Proper grading of the soil around the foundation is a key to keeping water away from the foundation of the home. The exterior grading should slope away from the home directing the water flow away from the foundation and your basement.
Even though your basement has never been wet or shows evidence of water penetration, there is no guarantee that it will not happen. With the storms and freeze thaw cycle in the Midwest, keeping up on maintenance of the home and drainage system and a properly graded yard will help in keeping your basement dry and comfortable.