A flooded basement is every homeowner’s nightmare. There are many possible causes: pipes burst, foundations leak and floods happen. Heavy rainfall and melting snow can also contribute to the damage. The clean up can be horrendous and time consuming. Water can also seriously damage the foundations of your house, threatening its structural integrity. Fortunately there are many ways of water proofing basements before any damage occurs. Many waterproofing professionals take a more transparent, cost-effective and common sense approach to water proofing solutions. They should be able to help you identify the problem and find a solution.
Warning signs that all may not be well in the basement
According to experts, nearly all homes with basements – more than 98% of them – will have to deal with some kind of water damage. You may have noticed that your basement leaks when it rains. There may be water stains on the walls or even cracks. If you notice that the foundation has cracks wider than a quarter of an inch, or if blocks and bricks begin developing cracks in a stair step pattern, that’s a sign that it’s time for foundation repair.
Some simple steps you can take early on can also help to prevent flooding and water damage. Construction experts recommend that the soil level around the foundations should have a slope of at least six inches to every ten feet to direct water away from the house. Likewise, plants should not be placed closer than two feet from the foundation, and the roots should be planted deep enough that they will not direct water toward the foundation.
Flood damage and how to handle it
Even with all the precautions you can take, floods do happen. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reports that floods are the leading natural disaster in America, resulting in an average of more than $3 billion in insurance claims each year. More than a quarter, or 26.4% of the total number, of insurance loss claims in the U.S in 2013 were due to water damage.
A wet basement can also become a health risk because it will quickly begin to grow mold. Mold can spread throughout the house via heating and air conditioning vents, and give rise to health problems. If your basement has flooded, it should be thoroughly cleaned out, within 24 to 48 hours, to stop mold. Any bedding, towels and upholstery affected by the flooding should be dried within 48 hours. Failing that, they should be thrown out, otherwise they will becoming a home for mold.
How to fix basement leaks
It’s always better to plan ahead and think about water proofing basements before any damage occurs. Waterproofing professionals use a number of methods to fix basement cracks and leaks. These can include:
- Injecting Epoxy into foundation cracks
- Installing window wells
- Replacing and installing sump pumps
- Fixing or installing new drain tile systems
- Using crawl space liners to keep crawl spaces moisture free
- Digging discharge lines
If your basement is showing some or all of the worrying signs mentioned above, you should contact a full service home waterproofing company. They have a lot of experience in water proofing basements and will be able to find the right solution.
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