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Is Basement Waterproofing Possible?
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
A recent study showed that 98% percent of all basements would suffer from some form of water damage at some point in their existence. This means that if you are a property owner and you have a basement, it becomes a matter of when, not if, you will have water problems. Of course, we would all like to prevent this from happening, but is it really possible to completely insulate our basements from the threat of water damage?
At the risk of starting off on a negative note, the general answer is no. You can do everything that is required, but the fact is if enough water is involved, you may very well end up with a flooded basement. Waterproofing services and methods are available, but they are not always 100% effective. You can, however, take steps to minimize the threat level.
For starters, if you don't have a sump pump installed in your basement, get one. These units are designed to catch excess water and funnel it out and away from your home before it has a chance to back up and become a problem. Choose one with automatic features, designed to switch itself on at the first sign of trouble, and keep the unit properly maintained and serviced as per manufacturers' instructions.
Likewise, make sure all drains around your basement are free of obstructions and working properly. Remember, when that water backs up it is going to go somewhere. Make sure it is flowing in the right direction away from your home. Same goes for gutters and downspouts around the perimeter of your home.
The landscaping around your home should also slope away from the property for a distance of no less than ten feet but ideally more. The ground can only absorb so much water, and in the case of a strong storm or several days of constant rain, the ground may quickly become saturated. Once that happens, excess water is going to flow, following the path of least resistance. You want to be sure that the water flows away from your home. If it doesn't then your basement is going to flood.
Look around your basement for potential problems and deal with them before they become real issues. Look for cracks, broken seals, leaks, any sign of water damage, no matter how minor. Remember that even the smallest leak can turn into a lake if left alone long enough.
Move valuable items to a higher floor, or at least a higher spot in the basement. Many people locate their appliances such as washers and dryers in their basements and you may want to elevate these as well. If you are at risk for a more severe flooding problem, then you may want to have your electrical outlets and electric box relocated higher on the basement walls.
There is no way to completely protect your home from the destruction of water, but you can take steps to minimize the potential damage.
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