In Seattle, we’re not afraid of a little rain. But rain can bring an unwanted risk with it: water damage in your basement or crawl space. A particularly heavy rain can flood your basement, but even light water buildup can cause water damage.
People worry about flooding and water damage in many places, but since Seattle gets a lot of rain, we worry about it a little more here. Fortify your home against the rain by waterproofing your basement and crawl space-if you do, you’ll avoid a disaster like a wet or damaged basement.
Here’s what you should do.
Install a Basement Drainage System
Hopefully you already have some kind of basement drainage system in place. This might include a floor drain, which contractors install in many homes during construction. You may also have a French drain installed outside your home; French drains direct water away from your foundation.
But nothing protects your home against flooding better than a sump pump. Contractors know the importance of these devices, and they install sump pumps in many newly constructed homes whether they could flood or not.
If you do not have a sump pump, a professional can install one in a sump pit. When excessive water runoff goes into your basement, the water flows into the sump pit. The sump pump then pumps out the water and sends it through pipes that take it away from your home.
Sump pumps come in two categories: submersible and pedestal. Submersible pumps have a waterproof covering and sit directly in a sump pit. On the other hand, pedestal pumps sit on a pedestal outside the pit. Pedestal pumps typically cost more.
When you look for sump pump installation, consider added features that could better protect your basement. You might consider a sump pump with emergency battery backup in case the main system becomes overwhelmed, or you could consider one with an alarm that will alert you about high water.
Install a Wall Moisture Barrier
Water can damage your basement in other ways in addition to flooding. Did you know that moisture can flow through your concrete wall to the inside of your basement or crawl space wall to the inside of your basement or crawl space?
A professional can install a moisture barrier between the foundation wall and the other layers. This blocks moisture from leaking in through cracks or pockets and prevents mold growth.
You should also seal any places in your wall that could allow water vapor to sneak in.
If you want to build or remodel a basement, speak to a professional about protecting your walls from water damage.
Dehumidify Your Basement
Another water damage problem in your home comes from a lack of ventilation. When air doesn’t travel out of your basement, excess moisture leads to mold and dampness. Purchasing a ventilation and dehumidifier system can improve the air quality in your basement and prevent water damage.
Install a Crawl Space Drainage System
If you have a crawl space, you know you’ll probably see the most water damage there. This happens because water in the soil outside your home can leak into the crawl space through the walls and floor.
How do you drain this unwanted water? The same way you get rid of basement water. Professionals can install a sump pump, add vapor barriers, and even install new concrete and insulation to seal all open spaces and prevent moisture damage.
Take Care of Outside Problems
If you have an effective drainage system and still experience water damage, the problem might lie in other areas in your house.
A waterproofing professional can help you determine and repair the source of the water damage, which may include:
- Foundation drains: You can find these drains outside basement footings. Your homebuilders should have installed these drains during construction. But if you have them and they don’t work, the contractors may have installed them incorrectly.
- Downspouts: Make sure they direct water 10 feet or more from the foundation; you can extend them if needed.
- Driveway trench drains: These drains keep storm water away from your home and driveway; check to make sure that debris hasn’t clogged them.
- Catch basins: These basins collect rainwater and send it to local waterways. Check to make sure the ones in your neighborhood function properly.
- Yard drainage: If you install an in-ground drainage system, you could prevent water buildup in your yard.
- Drain pipes: If you have clogged pipes, a professional can use of special pipe nozzles to remove dirt and minerals. They can also cut away tree roots blocking your pipes’ flow.
Say Goodbye to Water Damage
When you live in Seattle, you need to prepare for all kinds of water-related disasters. If you live in a newer home, the builder probably took steps to help you prevent water damage, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still occur.
Make sure you thoroughly examine your basement and crawl space for mold, peeling paint, and moisture-all signs that you have a water problem. If you have an issue with water damage, contact a waterproofing professional and take the necessary steps to prevent further damage. This could potentially help you save thousands of dollars in future repair costs.