Water in your basement can cause a host of problems, from ruined carpet, wood and drywall to a soggy home office or spare bedroom. Depending on how you use your basement and what you have stored there, you can be looking at considerable expense to replace items and repair damage. If water isn’t promptly removed, you may also find yourself dealing with mold that can cause major health issues in addition to breaking down building materials.

There are a surprising number of circumstances that can cause your basement to flood. Your first step should be to identify the condition or conditions that are contributing to your water problem.

Check your Exterior Grading

The ground surrounding your home should be sloped to direct water away from the foundation. Even if the initial grading was correct, the soil could wash away over time, making it necessary to regrade your yard.

Look for Cracks

Cracks in your foundation can not only lead to basement flooding but may also threaten the structure of your home. It’s best to have this issue assessed and repaired by a professional.

Check Your Gutters

Be sure your gutters are clean and in good repair so they can continue to keep water from pooling against your foundation. You may want to add gutter extensions to move rainwater further from your home.

Check Foundation Plantings

Since water will follow a shrub’s roots, plantings too close to your foundation can cause water issues. You may need to consider some new landscaping.

If you still have water problems in your basement after addressing the issues outside your home, it’s time to look at methods of waterproofing the basement.

Waterproofing Paint

Similar to regular wall paint, waterproofing paint can be applied over painted surfaces with a sprayer, roller, or brush.

French Drain

There are two types of french drains, both capable of relieving serious water issues. An exterior French drain consists of a ditch dug along the foundation filled with gravel and a perforated pipe, which is sloped to drain water away from the house. To make an interior french drain, channels are created to direct water into a sump pump pool in the basement floor.

Sump Pump

This mechanical pump is installed in a specially made pit in the lowest part of the basement. When the water reaches the pit, the machine pumps it out of the basement and away from the house. You can choose from either a submersible or pedestal design, depending on which best fits your circumstances.

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