A Primer on Basement Waterproofing

A Primer on Basement WaterproofingDepending on the underlying cause of the water seeping in, basement waterproofing can be cheap and fairly easy or more extensive and expensive.  At its heart, though, preventing basement water seepage is a just a matter of giving the unwanted water somewhere else to go.

Several circumstances can create the right conditions for water or dampness to enter your basement. 

  • The soil around your foundation walls might not be graded properly.  To effectively help water flow away from your basement, the ground needs to slope down and away from your foundation.  If the soil surrounding your home’s perimeter is flat or (worse yet) slopes down toward the foundation, it needs to be re-graded so that it slopes away.  Planting some bushes near the foundation walls can help, too – their thirsty roots will absorb some of the unwanted water.
  • Your gutters might be clogged with leaves and other debris.  Regularly removing this debris from your gutters allows them to direct water running down the roof (including rain, ice melt and snow melt) into your home’s downspouts.  Water will overtop clogged gutters and collect immediately below, at your home’s foundation.
  • Likewise, your downspouts might be clogged.  Make sure they’re always clear of debris and positioned to direct roof drainage away from your foundation.
  • Your basement window wells may not be draining properly.  Leaves and other debris can accumulate in basement window wells too.  If you don’t clean out your window wells regularly, the debris can prevent water inside from draining properly.  The water will then accumulate right next to your foundation.
  • Cracks in your foundation wall(s) and/or floor might be letting unwanted water enter your basement.   Don’t try to repair these cracks yourself, as you could easily make the problem even worse.  Instead, hire an expert seepage Chicago contractor to repair the damage.

Sometimes, what’s causing basement water is more complex and harder to correct than what you’ve read about above.  When that’s the case, you’ll probably need a basement waterproofing system that’s more involved.  Depending on the cause of the problem, the right fix might involve the installation of a sump pump, an interior drain tile system to channel water out of your basement, an exterior drain tile system to direct water away from your basement, or something else.

Because several things can cause wet basements, there are several solutions for basement water seepage.  Only a professional seepage Chicago contractor will be able to identify the solution that’s right for your specific situation.  And only an expert will be able to carry out the work properly.   Don’t be misled into thinking that waterproofing your basement is an easy, do it yourself job that anyone can do.

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