Recent rainfalls, higher temperatures and record breaking snowfall totals this winter have created some concerning conditions for homeowners lately. We have heard alot about leaky foundations, water soaked carpet and other water intrusion instances lately. This can be damaging to wall structures, insulation properties, and floor coverings, not to mention intruding on heavily used living spaces. But there is hope!
Hopefully, detection and mitigation of water intrusion happened quickly enough for serious damage to be avoided. There are some immediate actions that can prevent the encroachment of water into the homes. One of the biggest suggestions we have is to remove snow immediately adjacent to the foundations of homes, or at least clear a path for the water to make its way away from the home. Water builds up between the snow piles and the foundation of the house, and since the ground is still frozen, it cannot make its way into the soil, while the pile of snow is delaying it from its normal route away from the house (if pitched properly).
If you have experienced water problems this spring, there are a few preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the possibility of this occuring again.
The most important thing that you can do as a homeowner is to ensure that there is at least a 2.5% pitch AWAY from the foundation around the entire house! This pitch should extend at least 10' from the house. Also, it is a good idea to install downspouts that extend as far away from the foundation as possible. Or, the installation of a catch basin linked to draintile and a pop-up emitter can be an option as well, as this moves water very far away from the foundation.
Another thing to keep in mind is the installation of a sump pump with a battery backup. This is a great idea for a couple of reasons. The first is that in the event that the main sump pump stops working, the second battery operated pump will kick on and discharge the water. The second is that most times, power will go out during intense storms which are usually accompanied by heavy rains. This means that if the power goes out and the sump pump is only connected to a 120V system, the pump will not work and the risk of flooding becomes a serious issue. Adding one of these is battery back up pumps allows some piece of mind during storms that cause power outages.
One last preventative measures is placing battery operated water alarms in basement bathrooms, utility rooms and any other leak-prone areas. They are cheap and will alert you to any water build up!
Remember to keep an eye on your basement and foundation for the next couple of weeks while this snow melts!