Spring is here, which means birds singing, buds growing on trees, and no more snow! While you might rejoice when you look out your window to see the ground no longer covered in the white stuff, snow just doesn’t disappear. It’s going to go somewhere, and it’s usually underground.
Springtime is also rain time, and the combination of April showers with winter’s runoff could mean dealing with a wet, leaky, sometimes waterlogged and flooded basement. It’s important to pay attention to the state of your basement and the surrounding property before it gets too late!
Survey Your Basement
The main causes of leaky and flooded basements are poor property drainage, cracked or damaged foundations and walls, blocked pipes, and ineffective sump pumps. Take a walk through your basement and look for any potential weaknesses with these in mind, and be very vigilant.
Closely examine the structure and don’t forget to take history into account. Is there a patch that, in the past, has been prone to dampness or puddles? It could get a lot worse any day, so it’s best to tackle it as soon as possible. Any minor cracks and minor weaknesses in the walls could grow without any warning, making repairs a chore to take care of as soon as possible.
Walk around your property and see where the water is draining, how the ground slopes, and what type of ground is around your foundation. It’s always best for water to get as far away from the foundation as possible, and if you can extend the pipe further away, it might be a good idea (though keep in mind neighbors and public walkways!).
If you’re not sure, have an inspection performed every spring. It might seem like an unnecessary cost if everything looks ok, but a professional look could save you a lot of costly foundation repairs or property damage in the future.
Take Necessary Steps
Don’t delay – start your spring-cleaning as soon as possible. Clean out the gutters, so that water doesn’t get dammed and flow out over the side of the house, pooling around the foundation. They should be draining where they do for a reason! If need be, dig trenches or get longer pipes to drain the water.
It might be necessary to repair or get some new hardware. Make sure your sump pump is working properly, and if it’s broken or blocked, get it repaired. It might be a good idea to invest in a leak alarm, so that you’re aware of any problems that might arise before they get too damaging. Leak alarms are affordable, and could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait
Basement issues can be some of the most insidious and hardest problems for which to care. Cracked foundation floors and walls are very costly to repair if the problem isn’t tackled right away, and on top of the major intrusive work it will take to solve a problem, you risk damaging furniture, electronics, and personal, irreplaceable mementos.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve finished the basement or if it’s used only for storage. Any moisture, dampness, or water, are signs that something could get worse. It could lead to widening cracks, foundation damage, even molds and other things that could lead to respiratory problems or worse.
Anything small is a sign bigger things are around the corner! If you see anything, repair it or call an expert to take care of it for you. The warmer weather is great, and you should enjoy it as much as possible. Don’t let your basement ruin spring!