Preparation is Key
Spring is here and we all know what that means: the potential for heavy rain and flooding. You may be dreaming of landscaping in White Lake Michigan or summer sports in South Bend Indiana. Still, the possibility of the trauma and pain of a flooded basement from spring rain is real. What it means to lose possessions and family history is the same can turn your spring enjoyment to spring nightmare. But fear not, there are things you can do.
The process begins with the exterior of your home, specifically, the ground around the base:
First, be sure there are no low lying spots around the foundation of your home. In other words, no space for water drainage to settle. If you see low lying areas, the best option is to place sand, dirt or pea gravel to direct drainage water away from your home. An inclination of eight to ten inches should work well, however, be sure the water has a place to go. Simply allowing it to sit there will not solve the problem.
Next, an effective gutter system is required. Roof rainwater is the greatest source of drainage towards the basement and leaky gutters will no doubt provide for even more damage. Be sure the gutter size is sufficient to handle the expected volume of runoff from your roof. The runoff is in direct proportion to the area of the roof itself. Another important concern is gutter guards, which is a screening system installed over the top of structure gutters which prevent leaves from clogging the gutter and slowing runoff.
Be sure the downspouts are not leaking before they reach the ground. Beware, in many communities direct downspout drainage is not legal, either for new construction or in some cases retroactively. In this case, make sure the drain pipes effectively direct the flow away from your home’s foundation.
These suggestions scratch the surface, so if they fall short of solving your leakage problems it may be time to call in the professionals, but fear not. There’s no shortage of foundation and basement repair companies waiting to help. Best practices dictate always getting at least two estimates before you engage. Best of luck!