The Guide to Waterproofing Your Basement

Whether it’s a light rain or an endless downpour, a dry basement is a top priority for any homeowner here in Fort Wayne. When you first discover that you have a water problem in this area of your home, your mind will likely race to determine the source of the leak. According to Angie’s List, a small flood of only an inch or two of water in your basement can result in $10,000 in damage.

One of the best ways to prevent havoc from water in your basement is by way of waterproofing. Here are a few tips on how you can be sure that your basement remains dry this summer:


Start at Your Gutter System

Believe it or not, your gutter system is directly tied to basement flooding. When gutters become backed up with debris and become clogged, an overflow of water can make its way down your exterior. The water will pool and settle at the base of your foundation, and it can ultimately make its way into your basement—which may result in flooding if conditions are just right.

How do you prevent flooding in your basement with your gutters? Keep them free of clogs, especially during the spring and fall. Don’t forget that you aren’t in the clear for ignoring your gutters during the winter. Ice dams can damage your gutters and may also result in a flooded basement.


Install Downspouts

Even though clogged gutters can cause water problems in your basement, don’t forget about your downspouts. You’ll need to install downspouts that direct water away from your home’s foundation. According to Bob Vila, in order to effectively direct rainwater away from your home, there should be a 2 percent grade slope in your yard.


Relocate Plants

If you have plants around your foundation that require frequent watering, it’s a good idea to relocate these to another area. The watering only brings excess water that might cause wet basement problems down the road. 


Repair Cracks and Holes

Once any existing gutter issues are addressed, the next step is to look for cracks and holes around your basement. This gives a direct access point for water to make its way into your basement. Hairline cracks can typically be filled with waterproofing mix. If the crack is bigger than 1/8th inch, clean the cracks before applying mix.


Addressing Wide Cracks

Even though small cracks and holes can be addressed with a seal sealant, there are times when this method simply won’t work. If there are large cracks, you might need to install an interior drainage system. This is an expensive and time-consuming route, but it’s essential to keeping your basement dry. It’s very labor-intensive and involves a jackhammer and concrete saw. If you find yourself in this situation, contact a professional before moving forward.

If you find yourself concerned about a flooded basement this summer, keep these tips in mind to keep this area of your home dry. 

Chris Jarvis