After years of working and saving, you’ve finally purchased your first home—and you couldn’t feel more excited. You have a lot to look forward to, from decorating each room in your personal style to landscaping a beautiful new lawn.
At the same time, you might still have work to do, especially if you purchased an older home or a house with an unfinished basement. You want to do everything you can to protect your new investment. And when you live in a consistently wet, humid area, your protective measures will involve basement waterproofing—a feature that prevents seepage and sewer backups.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to basement waterproofing, don’t worry. Just read our blog below. We’ll tell you all the tips you need to keep water out of your first home so you can enjoy it for years to come.
- Preventative Maintenance
Since Mother Nature often has a mind of her own, you can’t always predict or prevent a basement flood. But that fact doesn’t mean protecting your home is entirely out of your hands. Actually, when you keep your home in good repair, you do a lot to prevent future damage. Make sure to add these key areas to your new-home maintenance checklist.
Gutters and Downspouts
After a heavy rainstorm, water can collect near your home’s foundation. If your basement window has cracks or leaks, you could have a basement flood on your hands-not to mention the potential for foundation damage if the water remains pooled near your home’s perimeter.
To ensure that water drains away from your home during a storm, clean your gutters frequently. Prioritize seasonal gutter cleaning, especially in preparation for spring and fall. Remove dead leaves and other debris that could collect in your troughs, and trim your trees frequently enough that fallen branches and leaves don’t clog this feature.
Next, ensure that you have long downspouts to guide water away from your home’s foundation. If you don’t have extended downspouts, contact Safeguard to install some for you. The extension will move the water away from your foundation and, ideally, down a sloped lawn to the gutter or through your yard drainage system.
Sewer Grates/Drainage Systems
Your sewer or other drainage system won’t do you much good unless it’s clear of debris too. Check periodically to ensure that the grate stays leaf- and debris-free. If you notice a problem with your drainage system, call Safeguard to perform maintenance and repairs.
Basement Windows and Doors
If your home came with old basement windows, they could suffer from cracks and leaks. Check that your basement’s windows seal properly and that the frames don’t have any cracks, warping, or mold.
You should also check your window wells, especially after major storms. Window wells keep dirt away from the glass to let in more light. However, some window well strap water, which puts pressure on the glass during a rainstorm, and the pressure could lead to damage and flooding.
If you have a window well, make sure it has an effective drainage system that you clean periodically. If your window well doesn’t have functional drainage, contact Safeguard to install a system for you.
If you’re lucky, your home’s yard has a grade that leads away from your home, not towards it. And if you’re not sure how your yard’s grade works, step outside during a rainstorm. Do you see water pooling near your home’s perimeter? If so, your landscape likely grades towards your home.
You have several options to solve this problem. Some homeowners contact landscaping companies to redesign and regrade their lawns. Others install yard drainage systems to move water away from the house and out to a discharge point. A combination of both can provide the most effective solution.
- Sump Pumps
Sump pumps keep small or large amounts of water out of your crawlspace and basement. If you don’t already have a sump pump but worry about water in your basement, contact a Safeguard to install this feature. If you already have a sump pump, keep it in good repair through regular maintenance.
If you have homeowners’ insurance, consider adding flood insurance to your policy, especially if you live in an area that floods frequently. Flood insurance only covers certain types of floods-for instance, under some policies, damage will only be covered if a natural flood caused the problem. Read your policy thoroughly and understand what it does and does not cover.
- Home Inspections
If you want to go further to protect your basement from floods but don’t know where to start, contact Safeguard we offer free home inspections to homeowners. We can pinpoint problem areas in your basement and offer suggestions for repairs or upgrades.
With these five tips in hand, you can prevent basement floods and enjoy your new residence to the fullest. Visit our blog for more tips on how to make your new house into a safe, dry home.