As spring arrives, so do the wet and saturated conditions. This is the time of year that many people experience water entry into their basements. The reason for this is that the ground is still frozen, and the melting snow and rainwater does not drain into the soil, it runs on top of the surface. The soil around our foundations is not frozen and will absorb and drain water into the foundations drain tile system and hopefully into the sump pit. Here a few spring home maintenance tips which are critical in helping maintain a dry basement:
- Make sure the gutters are clean. Trees dropped their leaves late and you may need to clean your gutters again.
- Add longer downspout extensions. 6’ – 8’ extensions are a good length, although you can extend these even further for the spring thaw.
- Make sure your window wells are clean and can drain. The window wells tend to fill up with debris during the fall months.
- Make sure the grade is sloped away from the foundation. The grade should slope away from the foundation at least 1” per foot, 8’ away from the home.
- Make sure your sump pump is functioning. Remove the lid and make sure the sump pump works and the float can move freely and not catch on the side of the pit.
Following these simple steps will help in keeping a dry basement. One must remember that a basement is still 6-9 feet below grade and the deeper the basement the more wet the soil can be.