A damp basement is more than just a nuisance--it often represents a problem that over time will lead to expensive forms of structural damage. The good news is that, in many cases, it isn't as hard as you might think to eliminate the source of that dampness. If water is causing unwanted problems for your basement, read on. This article will discuss two possible problems, both associated with ground water runoff. For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Do-All Contracting.
Ground Water Runoff
This problem usually occurs after bouts of precipitation. Yet excessive amounts of rain are not the cause of the problem so much as poor landscaping. In other words, your yard simply isn't built to handle water the way it should. Rather than being guided it safely away from your home, that rainwater is being retained by the soil around your home.
This problem is often correlated with improper soil grading. A well-landscaped yard should in effect act like a ramp, allowing gravity to carry excess water downhill away from your home. When the soil is flat--or, even worse, slanted towards your home--rather than drain away, that water will tend to build up around your foundation, where hydrostatic pressure will gradually cause it to migrate in towards your basement.
Here is a handy rule of thumb where landscaping is concerned. In order to promote adequate drainage, in the ten feet closest to your home, the soil should have a slope of no less than 6". If you feel your yard falls short of this measure, be sure to consult a landscaping company about having your soil regraded.
Roofs do a great job of keeping water from getting into your home--at least from the top side. Problems arise when all of that water is redirected to close to the walls of your home. As you can imagine, gallons upon gallons of water being dumped into the soil around your foundation makes it way too easy for leaks to develop.
Here is where your downspouts come in. In a perfect world, these should fulfill the task of carrying that water a safe distance from your home. In reality, however, they often fall short of this mark. For one thing, they may simply be too short. Luckily, this problem can be circumnavigated by investing in downspout extensions.
Even with downspout extensions, however, problems can arise, should the force of the falling water cause them to become dislodged. Be sure to check on a regular basis to ensure that your downspouts are properly attached. Finally, those determined prevent a damp basement, should consider installing a dry well at the end of their downspout extension. Essentially gravel filled pits, dry wells act to promote fast and even water drainage.