Simple Solutions to Your Basement Woes
You’ve followed the instructions, you’ve done what you were supposed to do. Even when your basement is waterproofed, there are still a few issues that may occur. These common home problems will compromise the time you’ve taken to make sure that your basement is safe and sound. But the good news is, they can be easily fixed with a few simple DIY tips. Problem #1: Excess humidity. Humidity can be the cause of multiple problems in your basement. No matter what the weather is like outside, humidity can still wreak havoc. Humid air can come from the inside of your home, as well as from outside air. Major sources of excess humidity in basements are broken duct work and basement bathrooms. Both can be easily fixed. Here’s how: Inspect any open ducts and ductwork in your basement, such as your dryer vents, air conditioning, and ducts connected to any dehumidifiers. If there is a tear or break, cover it with foil tape. This will prevent any humid air from entering your basement. For bathrooms, be sure to install a vent fan and use it whenever you are showering. This will move any steam out of the room. Problem #2: Condensation. Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes in contact with a cool surface and collects, leaving puddles and water damage behind. One major cause of condensation in basements is overhead piping. Since these pipes move cold water, they are a prime location for condensation to occur. If left unmanaged, this condensation can make your basement the perfect spot for mold to grow. Mold spores can move into the air and become toxic. You can easily prevent this by insulating your pipes with inexpensive foam insulation. Just cut the insulation with scissors to fit the pipe size and length, then secure it with plastic zip ties. Problem #3: Water around your foundation. As we all know, downspouts are used to push rainwater and melted snow from your roof away from your home. Unfortunately, many downspouts do not do the trick. If your downspout is not working properly, water can collect near your home’s foundation. This water works its way down your foundation and can lead to leaks inside of your basement. A simple solution to this problem is to add an extender to your downspout. Extenders can be purchased at nearly every home improvement store and are easily installed. By adding a 4ft to 6ft extension to your downspout, you will insure that rainwater will no longer be a hazard to your basement. Problem #4: Improper grading. You may not be familiar with the concept of grading, but it is simply the incline of your yard starting from your home. Your yard’s grading is what helps move excess water away from your home’s foundation. It is common for the grading around your home to settle. If you have gravel or plants around your home, it may be harder to see if the grading is still up to par. Thankfully, your yard’s grading can be fixed. Unfortunately, this may mean digging up and moving the plants around your home. After clearing the area around your home, you can simply add soil. There should be a 6 foot wide slope against the base of your house that moves down about 4 inches. For extra protection, you can place a cover of 6 millimeter poly sheeting to your slope to keep it intact. Once this is complete, you can cover this improved grading with gravel, soil, and/or grass. Not every basement waterproofing problem is a major one -- at least, not if caught and dealt with early. With this advice on DIY solutions, you can protect your basement from damage and prevent more significant problems from popping up. With over 30 years of basement waterproofing experience, Ameri-Dry offers patented, permanently dry systems that are backed by a full lifetime warranty. For more information about Ameri-Dry and Ameri-Dry Guy, visit (www.keepamericadry.com), follow Ameri-Dry on Facebook or Twitter.