It has been a long snowy winter with little snow melt between storms. Once the snow starts to melt quickly around the foundation it may cause water leakage into our basements. The following are some tips in avoiding a soggy basement:
- Make sure all snow piles are away from the foundation.
- Make sure all downspouts have extensions that drain well away from the foundation.
- If you are able to, make sure all gutters are free of ice and debris so the water drains out the downspout instead of spilling over next to your foundation.
Damp basements are one of the most common problems that effect homes. This includes old houses and new. Many damp basements can be improved simply and inexpensively just by improving the water drainage along the outside. It is worth investigating a little yourself before calling in a water proofing company.
Most basement foundation walls are considered damp proof - not waterproof. Only properties wrapped with a plastic-type, PVC or rubber membrane around the outside of the foundation wall will have a reasonable chance of resisting water penetration. Properties built before 1993 had no foundation membranes, unless installed at a later date. It is very important to ensure that rain and snow runoff drains well away from the foundation. Improper grading, prolonged or heavy rainfalls, overflowing gutters and improperly positioned downspout leaders are the most common reasons for basement leaks.
This year the deep snow cover on our roofs blocked many roof vents, allowing attics to warm up and melt the snow above. Water seeping down the roof under the snow will freeze once it reaches the cold roof overhang known as the eaves.
Ice dams are the large build-ups of ice found at the edge of the roof. A small amount of ice may not cause an immediate problem, but if the ice continues to build up, it will block the water flow off the roof, causing water to back up under the shingles and leak into the soffit area, or into your house.
Cracks are common in all types of foundation walls, and they can leak if the grading around the foundation is poorly sloped. Old foundations are much more porous than newer concrete ones and can leak even without any cracks.