With Spring nearly here this is a great time to discuss water penetration concerns in a home. Water moving through your pipes, down a drain and out of the house is the only water you really want to see in your home. This said, this is a prime time of year to find water in your basement.
There are 5 main areas that you should consider when looking for the source of a wet basement.
- Grade of Yard
- Grade at Foundation
- Gutters, downspouts and extensions
- Hard Surfaces
Take a look at your yard – does it appear the home is higher than the surrounding land? If not you may need to create a swale so that water is drawn into a channel and moved away from your home instead of being allowed to sit and soak into the soil near the home.
Look at the grade near the foundation. Soil needs to be higher than surrounding yard so that water immediately moves away from the home. A good guide is a 1 inch slope per 5-6 feet away from the house.
Landscaping is a common culprit. Lawn edging sometimes pushes up with frost creating a pocket where when water comes it is actually trapped and cannot move out and away from the home. It can create a moat of sorts around the home actually holding and allowing water to seep into the blockwork. Get out there and make sure all edging is mounted low enough so that it will not retain water near the home.
Gutters can be a good thing when working and complete. They push water down a channel and away from the home. The problem comes when the gutters get filled with debris and no longer work or when the extensions have been removed for winter or perhaps to mow around and then we forget to get these back on. What happens next is that water might flow into those landscape areas mentioned above and now you have effectively created that moat again.
The last thing that must be considered is the hard surfaces you have outdoors, patios, stoops, and driveways. These all need to direct and pull water away from the home. Often times these settle causing water to actually move toward the home instead of away. Mud or sand jacking can be a reasonable fix for this problem versus replacement and the results are effective.
When you do have water coming in, don’t assume since it is coming in the east side of the house that the water problem is coming from that area. Block work is hollow and therefore can allow water to move along the full structure, so instead look for potential concerns and address each one until water is no longer coming in. Block work can and does absorb lots of water so it is important to find the source and correct it. Water in a basement can create mold issues and can cause block damage. Both of these will make your home a risk for any potential buyer.
Kim Woehl is a Realtor with Keller Williams Premier Realty and wants to be your real estate expert. If you know anyone looking to buy or sell, please send me their contact information or give them mine. I can be reached at 651-214-1459 or kwoehl.kwrealty.com I will work to listen and find the home that meets your needs. I am knowledgeable on common home defects and will help guide you to the best choice when looking for a home. Call me!
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