If your basement has ever flooded or experienced any type of water damage, you know just how stressful it can be. With a few simple maintenance tips and a keen eye, you can greatly reduce your risk of flooding, especially when the weather is as rainy as it has been in Calvert County.
Clean and maintain gutters and downspouts
Cleaning your gutters and maintaining your downspouts is an essential part of maintaining your home. By keeping your gutters free of debris and ensuring downspouts are properly positioned away from the foundation, water from rain and storms will flow freely, rather than pooling up against your home. Cleaning your gutters and maintaining your downspouts can be a bit of annoyance, it can greatly benefit you in the long run.
Inspect and repair foundation cracks
Cracks in your home’s foundation can act as an open invitation to water intrusion. To prevent basement flooding or water damage, visually inspect the exterior of your foundation, basement walls, and floors on a regular basis. If you come across any cracks during your inspection, fill them with epoxy. If leaking still persists, or you encounter a more serious foundation problem, call a professional.
Practice proper sump pump maintenance
Sump pump failure is the most frequent cause of basement floods. If your home has a sump pump, you’ve already got a great defense in combating mold, water damage, and flooding. However, simply owning a sump pump doesn’t give you a “get out of jail free” card – you’ve got to maintain it too.
If you know a huge storm is headed your way, check to make sure your sump pump is working properly and is plugged in. Also, consider investing in a generator for your sump pump and a replacement to keep on hand, just in case you lose power or the pump fails when you need it most. Keep in mind, if your basement floods as a result of a broken sump pump, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the damage.
Inspect sewers and clean septic systems
When was the last time you had your sewer inspected or your septic tank cleaned? Skipping out on sewer inspections and septic tank cleanings is a sure fire way to invite havoc into your home, as clogs, sewer backups, and overflows are bound to eventually happen with lack of maintenance. A professional cleanup and restoration company should be contacted immediately to safely clean up any sewage disaster.
Install window well covers
Homes with below-grade basement windows should always be protected with window well covers. When fastened securely over your basement windows and latched on to your home’s foundation, window well covers work wonders in waterproofing your basement. To keep your basement bright, look for clear acrylic window well covers.
Get familiar with your insurance
Do you have flood insurance? How about additional coverage for sewer backups? This won’t actually prevent basement flooding, but it can protect you if disaster strikes. If you don’t know the answer to either of these questions, take a few moments to review the details of your home’s insurance policy.
The overall lesson: Be a proactive homeowner
As much as we hate to say it, owning a home is never a walk in the park. Whether problems arise from flooding, fire damage or even mold growth, issues are bound to occur – after all, there’s no such thing as the “perfect home.” By being a proactive homeowner, you can spot small and easily fixable issues before they become full-blown disasters. When it comes to a dry basement, a little bit of pro-activeness goes a long way.
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