I have inspected over 10k homes during my past 20 years as a licensed Home Inspector in the Maryland, Virginia and D.C. area. I’ve now decided to share my experience with all the home owners and home buyers that visit Ask Fuzz.
This article is about basement leaks and wet, musty, mildewed, damp basements.
I found that when people have water issues in their basement, they often call basement waterproofing companies. Quite often the salesman visits the home for a brief inspection. After the inspection the company explains that the homeowner needs to have drain tiles, a french drain, and sump pump installed. When all these remedies are added together they can cost you over $10,000 dollars.
Unfortunately spending any amount when water proofing a basement is only a band aid if the real problem is not addressed.
The real problem is ineffective STORM WATER MANAGEMENT outside of the house.
If there is no water outside of your basement walls then its very unlikely for water to come inside and create basement leaks. However water that wells up around your foundation will always find a way into a basement leak by the process of osmosis.
Fortunately there is a remedy that is a simple and inexpensive fix for you.
First, make sure your rain gutters are and remain clean. If you live around large trees, have your gutters covered with leaf guards. if this is not possible you must have your gutters cleaned regularly.
Second, and MOST important, have your downspouts extended AWAY from your house. Rain on a roof collects hundreds of gallons of water. If the water is not directed away from your home it accumulates outside of your basement walls.
All of your wet basement problems are the result of water collecting next to the foundation and causing wet or saturated walls. In addition, during the winter, your saturated soil turns to ice. This ice expands as it freezes and the pressure from the ice expanding will crack or blow out your foundation walls causing water entry.
Once home owners become aware of the physics, it is easy to understand that 99% of the time the water that ends up in a basement leak started on the roof…As home owners, we have to be a little smarter than water!
Finally, my suggestion is that before calling a waterproofing company, save yourself some money. Call HomeCheckit and get a complete foundation evaluation.