How to Protect Your Basement From Water Damage

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Little brings bliss more than a dry, secure basement. Imagine sitting in your recliner, enjoying the sound of a gentle rainstorm outside and not experiencing that gut-sinking feeling that comes with the fear of water seeping into your basement.

If you’ve ever cleaned up water damage, you understand this feeling. Small bits of panic ensure when you see the forecast that calls for a storm and an inch of rain. You wonder if your basement will hold or if you’ll find yourself downstairs with the wet-dry vac and industrial fans once again. 

You do not have to be a victim of mother nature. Fight back and protect your basement from the elements with a few simple steps. Keep reading to learn how to prevent water damage. 

Start Outside

To prevent water from coming inside, you need to step outside. Begin by evaluating and inspecting your property around your basement. Start low, and move up and consider how water gets in your home from the start. 


Begin by inspecting your foundation. Take a walk around the perimeter of your home and look for cracks in the foundation. You may find small fissures that are normal or big, gaping cracks that coincide with the area where water comes into your home. 

If you have small, vertical cracks, you can attempt to fill them with a sealant or waterproofing paint. These sealants will act as a temporary waterproofing solution. However, if you have water gushing into your basement through these cracks, the sealants will not suffice, and you’ll need to call a professional for help. 

Landscape and Slope

After you’ve inspected the foundation, examine the landscaping around your home. Does your landscaping slope downward away from your home? Does it divert rainwater away from the foundation? 

You may believe that your landscape has a gentle slope already. Break out your tape measure and measure the slope. The peak of dirt should rise six inches over a distance of ten feet all the way around your home. 

If you do not have a good slope in your landscaping, it’s time to bring in more dirt and create a slope that helps direct water away from your home. 

While you’re looking at your landscaping, examine the window wells for the windows in your basement as well. Do you have a good layer of crushed rock that will help with drainage? 

If you do not have crushed rock in your window wells, dig the wells about six inches deeper. Then fill the six inches with crushed rock or pea rock. This will prevent your window wells from filling with water when you have heavy rain. 

Downspouts & Gutters

Move your eyes up as you inspect the outside of your home and check out your gutters. Clogged gutters will not allow rainwater to flow freely to the downspout and away from your home. Rather, the water will flow over the side of the gutters and directly toward your foundation and basement. 

To prevent such a disaster, you will need a ladder and some thick gloves. Climb up onto your roof and inspect the gutters. Then scoop out the leaves and other decayed matter to clean out the gutters. 

Examine the opening from your gutter to your downspouts. Is that area clogged? If so, clean it out and make sure water has a clear path to the downspout. 

You can ensure a clean gutter and downspout by spraying water through the spout as well. 

While you’re on the roof, tighten your gutter straps and spout extensions. If you do not have spout extensions at the bottom of your downpours, install them to direct water further away from your house. 

Move Inside

Once you’ve finished your outside work, it’s time to move inside. Keeping water out of your home will ensure that you have a safe, healthy home. Standing water or moisture that accumulates can cause mold illness and long-term health problems. 

Seal the Gaps

Begin by looking for cracks in basement walls that may be compromising the wall’s integrity. Use polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement to seal the small fissures in the walls. 

If you have cracks in your floor, though, you have a groundwater problem. No amount of polyurethane caulk will keep this water out. Rather, you need to call in an expert to help divert the groundwater. 

Waterproof Your Walls

Sealing the cracks in walls will help waterproof them, but you can do more. Waterproofing paint or plastic panels and sheets can also help keep water out. 

If you have a serious water problem that basic interior waterproofing techniques will not fix, then you will need to call in an expert to waterproof the exterior walls and fix gaps in your foundation. This type of project takes time, money, and expertise. 

Prep a Pump

If you’ve ever had water in your basement, you should have a sump pump ready. A professional basement waterproofer or plumber can install a sump basin so that as the water rises, your pump will kick in and redirect water outside and far away from your home. 

Be aware that sump pumps run on electricity typically. So if you’re vulnerable to power outages in the middle of rainstorms, you need an alternate source of power, such as a generator, on hand. Otherwise, have your buckets ready for a bucket brigade until the power comes back on. 

Avoid Water Damage, Hire a Professional

If you want to waterproof your basement with more than just a tube of caulk, hire a professional. A professional contractor that specializes in waterproofing basements will know the best methods for keeping unwanted water out of your home. 

While a contractor will cost more than a tube of caulk, in the long run, you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to pay for the water damage caused by a compromised basement and foundation. 

Do you need a basement and foundation evaluation? Have you fought water in your basement before? Give us a call or email us today. 

When you contact us, you will find a group of professionals eager to inspect your home and help you solve your water problems. We are a locally-owned, veteran-owned, and family-owned business that has been keeping basements dry for over 20 years. 

Our waterproofing systems come with a full life-of-the-structure warranty. Give us a call today, and let us help you stay dry.