Prevent Basement Leaks with Good Drainage
LESLIE: Going way out to Alaska to talk with Theresa about a leak. Tell us what’s going on.
THERESA: Hi, I have some water coming in, in our basement, and it looks like it’s just coming in through the cinderblocks. We can’t really pinpoint the exact location. But my question was should we try to find the leak on the exterior of the house and try to reseal the cinderblock area or would applying drylock to the interior walls be sufficient enough.
TOM: It depends. Do you live in a houseboat?
THERESA: No. (chuckles)
TOM: Well, then you really don’t need to seal those walls.
LESLIE: Yeah, you really want to work outside in.
TOM: Yeah. What you want to do is take a look at the exterior foundation perimeter and look at the drainage conditions because obviously something is broken down in the drainage conditions. Most basements flood because of problems with the gutter system. Make sure your gutters are clean, they’re free-flowing, they’re not getting overwhelmed in a heavy rainstorm and, most importantly, look at those downspouts; if they’re not discharging water at least four feet from the house foundation, you’ve got to extend them because that water will shoot down that pipe and just do a u-turn right back into the basement.
LESLIE: And you also want to look at the grading around your house. You want to make sure that the soil is not sloping towards the foundation; you want it slope away. Because any water that’s going to collect there, you want it to move away from it; not sort of sit there or roll back towards the house.
THERESA: Alright, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Theresa. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.