If you are reading this blog post, you are probably from Wisconsin. You also probably live or have lived in a home with a basement. And, you likely have at least one story about the time the basement got wet, or worse, flooded! Here in the Midwest, we love basements. They serve a lot of purposes, from a place to shelter from storms, extra storage, foundation stability, to a place to put utility systems and ductwork. But with those benefits come a few risks; basements are obviously much more likely to get wet or damp since they are below grade. Certain areas are much more likely to experience basement flooding, based on factors of the water table depth, soil type, and other factors. So, to maximize the benefits of having a basement AND to minimize the risks of getting water in your basement, here are my Top Tips for keeping water OUT of your basement!
- Gutters and gutter extensions. This is probably the most important and simplest way to keep water away from your foundation and out of your basement. If your home doesn’t have gutters or has gutters that are in poor repair, installing them and having downspouts that go at least 5 feet away from the foundation will greatly reduce the chance of water in your basement! Also, remember to clean your gutters out periodically to ensure your gutters are draining properly.
- Restore the Crown surrounding your home. Simply put, this just means bringing in “dirt” to create a slope that moves water away from the foundation. This positive grade should slope at least 6 inches in the first 6 feet away from your home. This will also deny any water from pooling near your foundation.
- Reshape the landscape. This is important if your home is built into a hill or something similar. You may need to install a berm or retaining wall to direct the water away from your home or stop it from flowing directly toward your foundation.
- Ensure your sump pump is working correctly. I have heard stories where a homeowners basement flooded because they forgot to plug in their sump pump! Don’t be that person! Ensure your sump pump is on, plugged in, and working correctly during those “flood-likely” times of the year!
- Install a drain system. This is where things can get complicated and expensive. There are many ways to do this, from curtain drains to footing drains. These are drain systems that can be installed on the outside of your foundation or can be installed in the basement, but some concrete and construction work will need to be done. There are companies in the Chippewa Valley that specialize in this such as American Waterworks and Badger Basement Systems. I would recommend speaking with one of these companies if you have completed steps 1-4 and are still getting water in your basement!
Well, if I’m being honest, I hope you don’t have to worry too much about this and that you have a dry, clean basement already! That is always the hope, but it’s good to have this information at your fingertips just in case. Enjoy the beautiful late spring weather and fun that accompanies it! And as always, if you are looking to buy or sell Real Estate in the Chippewa Valley, I would love to talk about how I can work for you!
Until next time!
~ Tim Nelson | RE/MAX Affiliates | 715-529-0239