What lurks behind the walls and under the floors of your basement? Probably nothing “horror movie creepy,” but there are some basement maintenance tips that can make a difference in how your basement performs all year long.
Regardless of the season, the more time you spend in your basement the easier it is to recognize issues when they arise. A finished basement is more likely to be frequented, so do your best to make your basement a place to enjoy throughout the year.
First and foremost, it is recommended that you waterproof your basement foundation as a preventative measure when constructing your new home. Ask your builder about various options.
Basement Maintenance Tips:
- Investigate drainage around your property. Drainage toward your walls, poor ventilation and obsolete plumbing could be the cause for condensation during the dry seasons. Some simple adjustments outside can save on repairs and mold issues in the future.
- Identify cracks early. Not all cracks in your basement will be problematic, but the sooner you locate a crack that is a potential problem the sooner you can have it examined by a professional. Measure the crack and keep a log with dates to determine if it is increasing over time. Change in temperature can cause them to expand or contract. Horizontal cracks are typically of bigger concern versus vertical cracks. Documentation of these facts will help the professionals when you have them come to inspect.
- Test your sump pump quarterly. If you have a pump it must be checked regularly. Pump failure can create big problems so don’t assume they are always going to work.
- Check for sticking valves. Some homes have a palmer valve that opens one-way allowing for water from the drain tile in the floor to drain. These may stick causing water to back up around edges and through floor cracks. This may require a plumber.
- Look for creeping roots. Roots from nearby trees can creep underground searching for water. These roots can cause excessive pressure on walls or grow right into drain tile. As an example, willow tree roots can reach extend about four times its canopy width. Be careful where you plant trees and it is recommended that you consult an experienced landscaper if concerned about existing trees and shrubs or for advice on planting placement based on tree species.
These are just a few tips that can help you keep an eye on your basement. Consult your builder for more ideas on basement maintenance.
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