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How do I Prevent Basement Leaks?

Article Details
  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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You should prevent basement leaks by effectively sealing the outside walls of your home. Once basement moisture has become a problem, inside repairs and much more extensive waterproofing techniques are required. Hiring an expensive basement contractor may even be necessary. Preventing leaks from the outside is the most cost effective and successful way to get a dry basement. If you can successfully prevent basement leaks through exterior sealing, you can save yourself much hassle and expense.

The main source of basement leakage is cracks on outer walls. The spaces often left around gas lines are another common source of basement leaks. All of these openings, no matter how small, must be totally sealed to properly shield your home from any basement water that could seep in.

To seal foundation cracks and other outside crevices, follow directions on hydraulic cement you can buy from your local home improvement store. Hydraulic cement is sold in powder form to be mixed with water. You should first use a stiff bristled brush to clean away excess dirt from exterior areas before applying a hydraulic cement and water mixture. Porous materials such as brick as well as foundation cracks should be sealed. It's important to seal outside wall cracks before freezing conditions occur; ice can expand the cracks and cause extra damage.

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Hydraulic cement is fast drying and can even be applied in watery conditions. In many cases, the existing cracks should be chipped slightly with a hammer or chisel to allow the cement mixture to do the best job of sealing them. Following the specific directions on the powdered hydraulic cement product before mixing and applying it is a good way of preventing basement leaks.

Basement leaks can also result from clogged gutters, so you should make sure water that drains from a gutter isn't facing your house. A gutter extension that angles and redirects the water run off from gutters can be purchased from most home improvement stores. To avoid plugged gutters from being the cause of basement water draining onto your home, establish a regular time to clean them.

Other than preventing basement leaks by sealing your home's exterior walls and maintaining its gutters, you may be able to prepare your yard as well. For example, if your land is sloping toward your home's foundation, adding more soil and facing the slope away from the house may work to prevent that potential source of basement moisture. Land drainage should always be directed away from the home.

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