Water in all its forms is the enemy of every house. Rain, snow, ice, groundwater, and water vapor will take every available opportunity to find a way to appear where you don't want it and damage your house and your belongings.
Almost everyone is familiar with the dreaded wet basement, but few know the causes or know how easy a wet basement is to prevent! Here are a few simple steps you should take to save yourself big money and big headaches:
1) Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and properly connected. Their purpose is to carry water away from your house; clogged, disconnected, or leaking gutters and downspouts allow water to drain up against the foundation and into your basement.
2) Make sure that the soil around the perimeter of the house is sloped to drain away from the foundation. Why? see #1 above! The soil grade around new homes often settles quickly, causing water to pool right up against the foundation wall. Check the grade and add soil if needed!
3) When building a new house, install exterior AND interior perimeter drain tiles; purchase the best waterproofing system you can afford ("black tar" isn't enough!) and backfill with gravel.
4) Install and maintain a sump pump, connected to the drain tiles. This'll drain away any water that makes it to the bottom of the foundation wall before it has a chance to get into the basement. Install a battery back-up system - if it's raining and the power's out, the sump pump doesn't do any good!
Need expert Residential Architectural advice for your new home or remodeling project? Contact Richard Taylor, AIA at Richard Taylor Architects to arrange a meeting or an online consultation.