- March 31, 2022
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Spring has sprung here in the Mid-Atlantic. The days of heavy snow and snowmelt should be behind us, but spring showers are certainly looming. Forgive us if we’re not stopping to appreciate the blooming trees and first spring flowers. April is a very busy time for those of us in the basement waterproofing business. Make sure you can fully appreciate spring instead of mopping or vacuuming up water in your basement.
Many homeowners wait until springtime to call us about water issues they noticed over the winter, such as puddles of water, leaking basement windows, and doorways or damp carpet. Many people think they can handle basement water intrusion themselves, but we are here to tell you that if you’ve had water seepage in your basement once, it’s going to happen again, and it will get worse with each rainstorm.
Read below to prepare for April showers and to protect your home from basement flooding.
1. Check the Outside of Your Home
There are several things you can do outside your home to help keep water away from your home’s foundation. These are relatively easy and inexpensive things to do. They include:
- Clean any window well drains and stairwell drains from any leaves, debris, growth, or trash that may have accumulated over the winter!
- Clear your gutters and downspouts to prevent overflow.
- Add topsoil around your foundation walls if your foundation height allows creating a negative grade away from your home. Don’t overdo it! Make sure to keep the soil level 4 to 6 inches below the top of your foundation!
- Consider hiring a professional to regrade your yard if it slopes towards your home and you don’t have room to add soil.
Taking these measures can help prevent or make it less likely for water to gather adjacent to your home’s foundation. But none of these do anything to address and prevent existing water seepage in your basement.
2. Get Professional Basement Waterproofing if You Have Water Seepage
If your basement smells musty, you have damp carpet, puddles on the floor, leaking window wells or stairwells in your basement, it’s time to reclaim your territory™ and protect your home with basement waterproofing.
Professional waterproofing involves installing a drainage system that diverts water from seeping through your foundation walls and floor through a drainage trench to a sump pump or pumps. The sump pumps activate when there is sufficient water in the basin, keeping up with the water flow pumping it up, out, and away from your foundation.
Once a professional system is installed in your basement you can consider basement finishing or basement remodeling adding to your livable space.
3. Install a Battery Backup Sump Pump
Whether you’re getting a new basement waterproofing system or you have an existing system, we highly recommend that you install a battery backup sump pump. This is a separate sump pump in the same sump well as your existing pump. It is designed to handle the water flow when if the power goes out, or if your main pump fails.
We highly recommend a sump pump with a battery backup for anyone with a basement waterproofing system. A backup pump gives you have peace of mind when you’re away from home, or in the event of a power outage during a storm.
4. Add a Sump Pump Rider to Your Homeowner’s Insurance
Not everyone knows that your homeowner’s insurance generally won’t cover damage due to basement flooding. You have to have special flood insurance to cover losses due to flooding. The exception is if you have a sump pump in your basement.
Many insurance companies offer additional insurance called a sump pump rider or endorsement. This additional insurance may also be called water backup and sump pump discharge or drain overflow coverage.
In a nutshell, this low premium additional insurance covers your losses if your sump pump fails or you have a sewage or drain backup in your basement. You determine the amount of coverage you want.
This coverage provides added peace of mind.
If You Have an Existing Basement Waterproofing System
If you had a basement waterproofing system put in by another company, we can’t guarantee you that they did a good job. We also can’t guarantee that the builder’s system installed will be adequate, especially if your home is more than 10 years old. Any exterior “dampproofing” has certainly deteriorated. Either way, If you have a sump pump be sure to add a sump pump rider!
You need to keep an eye out for signs of water intrusion as well. The biggest thing you can do to protect your home right now is go check to make sure your sump pump(s) is working properly. If you haven’t heard it go off all winter, it may have failed.
Newer model battery backup sump pumps may have a control system with indicator lights. See if the light is on. There may also be a “Test” button that you can push to have the motor kick on. For older sump pumps you may need to pour 5 gallons of water into the sump basin and listen for the pump to come on. We recommend WATER testing all sump pumps, both batteries operated and primary, at least once a year in homes. We do perform this service should you want us to come out and check your pumps for proper functionality.
In either situation, if the pump does not come on, call us for a sump pump replacement. We can also install a battery backup sump pump or a smart battery backup sump pump at the same time.
Schedule a FREE Basement Inspection
If your basement smells musty, you’ve seen puddles of water over the last few months, or your walls appear white and chalky it’s time to take action and reclaim your territory™. The first step towards a dry basement is to schedule a FREE basement inspection. One of our trained inspectors will do a full evaluation of your basement, explain to you what they found, and offer a custom plan.
Your estimate is free – you are under no obligation. However, if you do decide to move forward with us, we provide quality service and installation, and a lifetime transferable warranty. Over the years, we have helped thousands of homeowners with customized basement waterproofing solutions. We serve Maryland, Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Delaware, and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.