How To Protect Your Foundation From Water Damage
Water that manages to make it into the space around your foundation, or even into the concrete itself, can cause a whole host of problems for the rest of your home, including shifting and structural damage on all levels. Fortunately, there are several different preventative maintenance tasks that you can complete around your home to improve the drainage of water and reduce the risk that your foundation will become damaged.
Gutters and Downspouts
The simplest and most effective way to reduce the amount of water that is absorbed into the ground around your home's foundation is to take steps to clean out your gutters and downspouts to ensure the proper flow of water away from your home. You may also want to extend the length of your downspouts so that they carry water into an area of your yard with proper drainage, instead of allowing water to flow into the ground too close to the sides of your home. In case of severe rainfall, you may want to consider installing rain barrels, which can store excess water that you can later use to water your plants.
Another important way to make sure that your foundation is free from damage is to have your landscape professionally graded to ensure that water is flowing away from your house. You may want to consider installing retaining walls to hold up the slope of small hills throughout your yard to maintain that drainage. Further, you should avoid planting large plants and trees near the sides of your home, since their root networks can find their way into your foundation and cause cracking that can allow water to enter your basement – stick to small flowers and plants near your home instead.
Foundation Waterproofing Solutions
There are also a number of things that you can install in your basement to protect your foundation from damage. Exterior waterproof barriers, usually made out of durable plastic or metal, can be installed in the ground around your foundation to physically block water from seeping inwards. However, this can be labor and cost prohibitive for homes that have already been built and is really only suited for construction projects. Instead, you may want to consider a water-resistant sealant, which can be applied directly to the concrete of your basement walls like paint, which repels water and helps minimize the risk of water damage and cracking. You should also address cracks as they appear, and have them filled by a foundation repair professional to prevent them from growing more serious over time.