A wet basement can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Damp basements lead to the growth of mold and mildew and can result in damage to items stored in the basement area. If the basement happens to be finished, not only will water damage furniture and other furnishings, it can also ruin walls and flooring materials and make the area unusable.
To make matters worse, a leaky basement can become a structural liability and, if the issue isn’t resolved appropriately, can even prevent a home from being sold. Wet or damp basements are a common problem in both old and new homes, although the problem occurs more frequently in older homes for a variety of reasons.
Common Causes of Basement Problems
If you’ve noticed water in your basement, you’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that 60% of U.S. homes suffer from wet basements and 38% are at risk for basement mold. A professional solution can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, but the news isn’t all bad. Often the source of wet walls or a leaky basement is on the outside of the house, above the ground where it can easily be fixed. Here are some problems that can cause major issues in your basement – but can be resolved with inexpensive solutions.
- Improper roof drainage. Roof downspouts can cause a literal flood of water in areas prone to drainage problems, as can overflowing gutters. Check to make sure that your gutters are clear so that water can flow freely, and that downspouts have extensions that lead several feet away from the house. If you frequently encounter clogged gutters, Gutter Helmet® gutter covers are a permanent solution to keep things flowing freely.
- Inadequate ground slope. Low spots in the grade surrounding your home will allow water to drain straight toward the foundation. Carefully examine the dirt or lawn around the entire perimeter of your house to make sure it slopes away from the basement walls or foundation by at least eight inches for every two feet. Other culprits of water in the basement include patios or driveways that improperly drain to the house.
- The neighbor’s runoff. If you live in a neighborhood where the houses are close together, a neighbor’s drainage system may be causing your problem. Make sure another downspout extender isn’t dumping water onto your property, allowing water to find its way into your basement.
Keep Your Gutters Clear With Gutter Helmet®
For more information about Gutter Helmet® rain gutter guards, call (800) 824-3772 to arrange a free in-home consultation with a dealer near you.
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