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If your basement has ever flooded, or experienced any type of water damage, you know just how stressful it can be.
We have seen many different situations that have led to a wet and/or flooded basement. Most of the time you think of water damage to a home or basement coming from the outside, such as a leak in the foundation, water seeping in through a door or window frame, or rain water finding a way in. Appliances can cause water damage as well, such as water lines going into washing machines, dishwashers, furnaces and more. All of these machines, if not maintained, can cause catastrophe. These simple steps can help save your basement from water damage:
#1: Clean & Maintain Gutters & Downspouts
Making sure your gutters and downspouts and clean and working correctly will keep water away from your home and foundation. All downspouts should be directed away from the foundation, allowing water to flow away from you home rather than pooling up against your foundation. Try to have downspouts direct water at least 3 feet away from your home.
#2: Properly Landscape Your Yard
Landscaping can be beautiful as well as beneficial to your homes water control. If your landscaping dips or sloped down to your house, water could pool at the house and find ways to creep in. Always make sure that your landscaping slopes away from your home so any extra water will run away from the house rather than towards.
#3: Inspect & Repair Foundation Cracks
Cracks in your home’s foundation are a very clear and easy indication that water may be getting in. Regularly inspect the foundation and fill any cracks. If you find leaking continues after you sealed a crack or if you find a very large crack, you will want to bring in a professional.
#4: Practice Proper Sump Pump Maintenance
If you know a huge storm is headed your way, check to make sure your sump pump is working properly and plugged in. Keep in mind, if your basement floods as a result of a broken sump pump, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the damage.
#5: Inspect Sewers & Clean Septic Systems
Sewer lines are one of those items we fail to think about until something really bad happens. Add a sewer inspection or septic tank cleaning to your calendar to have it checked. Without proper maintenance, you are bound to end up with clogs, backups and overflows at some point. Not only will this create a mess, but you will have to perform much repairing.
#6: Install Window Well Covers
Homes with below-grade basement windows should always be protected with window well covers. Window well covers work fantastically by keeping water away from the window and when installed properly, they can help with waterproofing and keeping critters out of the house also.
#7: Get Familiar with Your Insurance
Do you have flood insurance? Additional coverage for sewer backups? If you don’t know the answer to either of these questions, we highly suggest taking a few moments to review the details of your home’s insurance policy and reach out to your agent with any questions. Remember: Flood insurance is very different from water damage insurance and familiarizing yourself with the differences is critical to ensure all preventative measures are taken.