How To Keep Water Out of Your Basement

Here are some tips for helping prevent a flooded basement.

Although we’re past Spring, rain has pretty much continued to frequent our area, at least on a weekly basis. If your basement has the tendency to flood, this is enough to make you shiver.

Check your guttering system

623 gallons of water comes off the average roof in a 1” rainstorm. If your gutters are overflowing or leaking all of the water that runs off your roof will be surrounding your basement! Suppose your gutters are working perfectly…check out your downspouts. If your downspouts drain near your foundation, spotless gutters are futile. Downspouts should drain at least 5 feet from your foundation.

Check the slope of the ground

It is important that the ground surrounding your foundation slopes away from the house. The rule of thumb is 2” drop in elevation every foot you move away from your home. You can change the slope by adding dirt around the home, just be careful that the top of the dirt is at least six inches below the sill plate. If the slope cannot be altered, extending the downspout drainage further from the house in an underground drain may help.

Examine your shrubbery

Plants need to be at least 12” away from the foundation. Rotten roots often create a route for water to flow toward your foundation.

Install a Sump Pump

This is a pump that kicks on when water is entering your basement. It then pumps water outside your home. You can install this yourself, but beware; it involves jackhammering and plumbing knowledge. Hiring a professional to install the sump is advised.

If you have tried all of the above and are still having severe issues try the following:

Install Hydro Clay

This will permanently seal your basement from water. The hydro clay absorbs water and blocks pathways that the water uses to enter your foundation walls. It is used to waterproof tunnels, manholes, backyard ponds, etc.                

French Drains

A French drain is a plumbing system underneath your basement floor. This is highly involved and should only be done in extreme situations.