Don’t Ignore Water That Pools Near Your Foundation Walls

Foundation WallsA lot of us live where heavy rains are common.  For instance, people in Florida know that torrential downpours occur at least weekly during the summer rainy season.  It’s even worse when a hurricane or a tropical storm is on the way.  Then, it’s pretty typical to get 10 or 15 inches of rain within a day or two, and the storm can last for days.  That’s a lot of water for anyone’s gutters to deal with.  And where does all that water go after it shoots out of the downspouts?  The ground surrounding a home’s foundation can only handle so much.

Other people experience heavy snows.  A thick layer of snow blankets the roof until the spring melt arrives.  When it happens suddenly, all that snow on the roof quickly turns into water.  Again, that’s a lot of water for gutters to handle all at once.  And where does the water go after it lands on the ground?

All that water has to go somewhere, whether it’s caused by heavy rains or a sudden snowmelt.  Some of it soaks into the ground, but the ground can only hold so much.  All too often, excess water collects and pools up next to the home’s foundation.  That’s when you can run into problems.  All that water and the excess hydrostatic pressure caused by saturated soil can damage your foundation walls. And seepage can damage your basement.  In order to prevent this damage, you may or may not need a basement waterproofing expert.

If water pooling near the foundation is causing your basement seepage, the fix might actually be simple.  It’s possible that all you need to do is clean out your gutters and downspouts so they can direct the water coming from your roof well away from the foundation.   Another tactic involves adding downspout extensions so that the water is discharged at least 8-10 feet away from the home.  When clogged gutters or inadequate downspouts are behind the problem, you don’t really need to have an expert in wet basements correct it, but you sure don’t want to ignore it either.

The thing is – it’s hard to know exactly what’s letting water come into your basement.  Even if your gutters are clogged, the real root of the problem might be something else.  The only way you’ll find out for sure why your basement is wet is to call in a basement waterproofing contractor.  You might be told you need to re-grade the soil around your foundation so it helps the water flow away from your home.  Other solutions include installing an interior or exterior drain tile system or applying an exterior waterproofing membrane to the foundation.   On the other hand, you might just need to clean out your gutters.

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