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  • Writer's pictureSquare One Inspections

Basement Taking On Water?

Four things you can focus on to help keep your home's basement dry

  1. Gutters and downspouts: Gutters serve a vital role in water management, collecting all roof runoff and sending away from your foundation via downspouts and downspout extensions (a $9 Home Depot DIY task). Installed properly, they will will remove water that would otherwise find a way into your foundation. When the ground is frozen, the soil against your foundation walls is thawed due to escaping heat through the concrete walls. Melting snow and accumulated rain will find this as the only place to go in winter months, often allowing water to enter the basement. By the way, your gutters should be clear of debris before the snow flies each year.

  2. Swails and drains. Swails (mounts of dirt blocking uphill runoff) can divert water away from your home if you are at the base of a slope. In warmer months, French drains (holes in the ground filled with crushed stone, wrapped in landscape fabric) will collect water and before it accumulates too close to your home’s foundation. French drains freeze in colder months, making them ineffective for part of the year.

  3. Managing water from inside. If you’re not able to stop the water from coming in, collecting and managing the water that does enter will keep systems (furnace, water heaters, appliances, etc.) and personal items safe. Having a sump pit to collect entering water and a sump pump to effectively discharge before the pit overflows is a common solution.

  4. Backup systems. Sump pumps may fail, and power does go out due to winds and bad weather. Having an alarm if the pit overflows, installing a secondary back-up sump pump in case the primary stops working or can’t keep up, and installing a battery backup will keep this system rolling and minimize surprises.

Following these four steps will help control and manage any foundation water issues. For any questions, feel free to reach us at

Matt & Matt

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