13 Preventative Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Basement Dry

Posted on: Jan 11, 2022


Water stains on an old basement wall

They say prevention is better than cure, and that’s true even for basements. That’s because repairing is way more expensive than maintenance.

The average cost of a basement repair starts at around $8,000 and can go as high as $25,000. Maintenance costs a lot less than that.

When you get right down to it, preventative maintenance actually saves you from spending on costly repairs. Here’s a comprehensive preventive maintenance checklist to prevent leaks in your basement and ultimately save you money:

External Preventative Maintenance 

There are many factors that can cause leaks in your basement and not all of them come from the inside of your home. Maintenance outside your home must be done to prevent basement flooding and leaks. 

1. Examine Your Landscaping

Does your landscaping slope away from the foundation of your home as it should? If not, that means water is collecting around your foundation when it rains.

Eventually, this kind of landscaping will cause problems not just in your foundation but also your basement. Consider reworking your landscaping to address grading issues.

2. Inspect Your Gutters and Eavestroughs

When it rains, gutters and eavestroughs that are filled with debris will encourage water to pool against your home’s walls and foundation. 

Again, this will cause damage to your foundation and basement. Don’t forget to include cleaning your gutters and eavestroughs in your preventative maintenance plan. Schedule them for cleaning at least twice a year

3. Clean Your Downspouts

Aside from regular cleaning, downspouts must be positioned at least three feet away from your foundation. Otherwise, you may have to invest in troughs or downspout extensions to achieve the correct distance.

4. Clear Ditches and Drains of Debris

Clear all ditches around your home of mulch, leaves, and other debris. Also inspect sewage and storm drains of things that might cause blockages and eventual flooding in your basement. 

5. Inspect the Exterior of Your Foundation for Cracks

Most basement flooding begins at the foundation of your home. Set aside time to check the exterior of your foundation for cracks.

Water can seep into cracks no matter how small they may seem. It can even penetrate porous masonry walls in the form of water vapour, so make sure to seal them right away. 

Bigger more severe cracks, however, need a professional for proper repair.

Maintenance Inside Your Home 

There are systems within your home that can cause basement leaks and flooding. Maintaining these systems is important to keep your basement dry.

6. Test Your Sump Pump

A sump pump’s job is to pump out water that has collected at the lowest point in your home. This prevents flooding and mould growth. 

A quarterly inspection would be helpful to keep your sump pump in good working condition. If you don’t have one, consider getting a sump pump installed.

7. Check Basement Windows

Over time, windows can develop air leaks where water can get in. When this happens, your basement windows will need re-caulking to seal it better.

Not only will re-caulking keep moisture out, it will also increase your home’s energy efficiency. If your windows are old, however, consider replacing them.

An old basement window with air gaps on the sides

8. Don’t Forget Your Window Wells

Window wells keep dirt away from openings in your foundation walls. They also drain rainwater away from your home.

To make sure it is doing its job, check if it’s securely fastened to the wall. Remove any visible debris and test the vertical drain inside the well. 

Also consider installing clear window well covers. They are effective in keeping the rain out without blocking out the sunlight.  

Other Preventative Maintenance Tips 

9. Insulate Pipes

One of the contributing factors to basement leaks and flooding is frozen pipes. They can thaw on their own, but any water caught between the ice and faucet will increase the pressure within the pipe. 

Your pipe could burst when the pressure gets too high. To avoid this risk, make sure your pipes are well-insulated.

10. Invest in a Water-Detection System

Plumbing technology has come a long way in helping homeowners maintain their homes. One such technology is a water-detection system.

This system can “sense” if your pipe is leaking or if water is starting to flood in your basement. Once it does, the system alerts the homeowner of the leak to prevent significant damage. 

Aside from sump pumps, these water-detection systems and devices are helpful in keeping your basement dry no matter the season.

11. Consider Waterproofing Your Basement

If your basement is not waterproof, your foundations are vulnerable not just to moisture from rainfall but to the hydrostatic pressure from the surrounding ground. This can weaken your foundation and cause catastrophic problems. 

Waterproofing your basement provides reinforcement to keep your home stable. Aside from that, it also protects your home from leaks and flooding and keeps harmful moulds and mildew from developing.

12. Install a Generator or Battery Backup

Often, power outages happen during bad storms. When there’s no electricity, your sump pumps and other preventive systems won’t work. 

Consider purchasing a generator or battery backup so they will continue to function even when there’s a power outage.

13. Install One-Way Float Valves in Your Floor Drains

Float valves prevent water from backing up from your floor drain. They’re economical and can be found in most home improvement stores.

A functional basement free of leaks and flooding

Your Partner in Proactive Waterproofing 

Following these preventative maintenance tips will lead to two things: you get to save yourself from the hassle and headache of looking for competent plumbers to fix the problem. You also get to save some serious money from expensive repairs. 

So, if you’re on the lookout for professionals who can take care of your basement for you, get in touch with PRO Waterproofers. We provide up-to-date, sustainable solutions to residential and commercial basement waterproofing needs. Contact us today.

If You Have Any Emergency Waterproofing Need, Simply Call Our 24 Hour Emergency Service Team

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